Who am I?

Kelly Kultala knows the challenges facing Kansas families. As a proud working mom, grandma, wife, sister, daughter, aunt and great-aunt, Kelly’s perspective is like that of many Kansans.

A fifth-generation Kansan, Kelly went back to college when her youngest daughter was just six months old, earning her college degree from the University of Kansas. As a working mom, Kelly helped pay the bills and provide health care for her family as her husband battled Type 1 diabetes, had a kidney & pancreas transplant and beat cancer.

Kelly’s time in public service has been defined by working in a bipartisan fashion to improve her community. Kelly has served on the Piper School Board, as a commissioner on the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas and as a State Senator for the 5th District, which included western Wyandotte and Leavenworth Counties.

As a State Senator she served on the Ways & Means Committee and was the Ranking Minority Member on the Transportation Committee and Utilities Committee. She was part of the leadership team that crafted the T-Works Comprehensive Transportation Plan, creating 175,000 jobs throughout the state and she was instrumental in working with local and state officials to bring the Sporting KC Soccer Stadium and Cerner office complex to Wyandotte County, creating over 5,000 jobs.

Kelly is an avid supporter of public education. She believes that all children deserve a quality public education, no matter what their zip code is and that teachers deserve to have the resources available to them to provide the best teaching environment.

Currently, Kelly is a public affairs consultant. Married to husband, Dan, for 35 years, the Kultalas have three grown daughters, three sons-in-law and three grandchildren.

Why am I running?

I am running to restore the focus in Washington DC to the issues that matter to Kansas families: jobs, education, and protecting the promise of our seniors’ future. These issues are personal to me because I have seen how vulnerable Kansas families are.

A health crisis brought my family to the brink of financial ruin. Thanks to good luck, hard work, and perseverance, we made it through and are now even closer as a family. During those long nights in the midst of our scare what kept me up was the thought of my daughters’ future and what would happen to them if I was unable to send them to college. No parent should ever have to stay up nights wondering whether their child’s future will be imperiled by their health status.

I am in this race because I understand how close to the edge families are who are imperiled because of unemployment, worry over their children’s education, or fear for their retirement. My opponent chose to prioritize shutting the government down over helping families in Kansas address their challenges. Help me send the message that the future of our families is too important for political gamesmanship.

I have no illusions that this will be an easy fight. But as a grandmother, mother, and wife, I cannot sit on the sidelines and let Washington politicians endanger our families’ futures.

My Goals

Education- We must work to improve access to education for all our children regardless of zip code. My opponent claims to be a supporter of education but has consistently voted to cut head start, K-12 funding, and to reduce Pell Grants. I will work to ensure that we do more to allow children to continue to access education.

Seniors- We must protect the promises we have made to our nation's seniors. My opponent has voted to for the Ryan budget which would harm seniors and endanger the promises we made for their futures.

Women- Women deserve an equal day's pay for an equal days's work. I will stop the war on women and reverse the trend of attacking women's health.

My DFA Values

I am running for congress because I have seen how fragile economic security is for Kansas families and will work to strengthen the middle class.

When my husband got sick we saw our family’s finances fall from squarely in the middle class to the edge of bankruptcy. I saw in our journey how vital it is that children be able to afford to go to college even if their parents cannot support them, how vital the stability that Medicare offers is for those who need it in their retirement, and why we cannot raise taxes on middle class families who are already under too much strain. Ensuring the economic future for Kansas families is what motivated me to enter this race and will be my priority in Congress.

Kevin Yoder has shown his priorities through his voting record during his 4 years in Washington, DC. His consistent support for the Ryan Budget is reckless and irresponsible. Congressman Yoder has voted to end the Medicare guarantee by turning the system into a voucher program. He has voted to damage education at every level. Yoder would drop 170,000 students from the head start program, cut K-12 education funding, and freeze Pell grants- making college more expensive for students and their families. The Ryan-Yoder plan will also cost thousands of Kansas jobs by rewarding those that ship jobs overseas, giving massive tax breaks to wealthy corporations and those making more than $1 million dollars per year, and raise taxes on every family making less than $200,000 a year by more than $3,000 per year.

This election is going to come down to a choice between priorities. Will we work to strengthen the middle class and ensure their security? Or will we choose to further enrich the wealthy on the backs of working families and seniors?

My Campaign is People Powered!

We have been highly involved in engaging the grassroots in our campaign. Running against an opponent who has been as indiscreet as Kevin Yoder gives us the opportunity to reach activists in a unique way.

We have been heavily involved with activists in raising the profile of Yoder's indiscretions and voting record by running an aggressive LTE program that has dramatically raised the profile of these issues.

We have also been working hard to earn the endorsement of many progressive groups as well as labor to let the progressive grassroots know that Kelly is on their side.

Combined with a strong field and turnout game should leave us in a strong position to take advantage of the grassroots and engage more people in our campaign. We are running against an opponent who is almost entirely funded by corporate interests, our people powered campaign has been using every resource at our disposal to compete.

Voice support


  • Zachary Baker

About the Endorsement Process

The driving force behind all DFA endorsements is our members. We recognize that all politics is local and that what is considered progressive in Los Angeles may be very different from what's considered progressive in Louisville. For this reason, DFA does not have a litmus test of specific progressive positions for which a candidate must stand. Our endorsement is heavily weighted based on these questions:

• Will the candidate move the progressive movement forward in their community?
• Does the candidate have substantial support from our local members?
• Do the candidate's positions and policies fit into the broader progressive movement?
• Is the campaign people-powered and the candidate working to win?

If you have questions, or want to let us know about a candidate in your neighborhood, please call us at (802) 651-3200 or email us at [email protected] .

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