Born in New York City, she grew up in Puerto Rico. By the time she was seventeen, she was homeless. Now she is Mayor of Topeka and running for Congress. It is Michelle De La Isla’s life that is a surprise.
If we were to look for someone who exemplified the movement of suburban Republican women to the Democratic Party, Barbara Bollier would be a good exemplar
Eighteen years as Executive Director of the Kansas Recreation and Parks Association, lobbying the legislature on behalf of parks. she was elected to the state Senate in 2004. She experienced the disaster of the Brownback experiment, has the support of moderate Republicans as well as Kansas's Democrats, and could be elected governor.
Sharice Davids in a Native American whose start was not easy. She worked low wage jobs. When she developed a focus, she attended and graduated from University of Missouri -- Kansas City. From there she went to Cornell Law School. Then mergers and acquisitions for Dentons, an enormous law school. She decided she preferred her hobby, mixed martial arts. She decided she would rather help fellow Native Americans become entrepreneurs. From that work, she has moved on to politics.
Paul Davis was a wunderkind. He was the Kansas House minority leader, then ran for governor. His loss, largely a result of a strip club scandal, set him back. After a stint in a Topeka law firm, he became Assistant Director for Government Affairs for the Insurance Commissioner -- Kathleen Sibelius. Now he is running for Governor.
James Thompson, a Wichita Civil Rights attorney has been nominated by the Democratic caucus to run for the Fourth Congressional District of Kansas. Jim Thompson has a compelling story to tell. He describes himself as having been homeless as a child, but able to keep himself together sufficiently to graduate from high school and join the army. In the army, he gained sufficient recognition so tha he served as a member of the Presidential Honor Guard.