By Tim Carpenter
LAWRENCE — Former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander embraced crimson and blue Thursday to urge University of Kansas students to betray stereotypes of millennials by knocking on doors, making telephone calls and voting in the November election.
Kander, a Democrat who lost a 2016 U.S. Senate race before forming Let America Vote to oppose gerrymandering and voter suppression, told Jayhawk students to embrace patriotism by committing to ideas that make Kansas a better place. People dismissive of millennials as lazy and self-centered deserve to be awakened by a generation working hard for change, he said.
“If you want a wave that is about progress, you need to go out and you’ve got to build it,” Kander said. “People are counting on you, not to just stay home. They’re counting on you to not care enough to have awkward conversations with your friends and classmates.”
He said some people considered millennials naive enough to believe a blue wave for Democrats would magically form on the horizon like a cloud and rain down progressive votes.
“They are counting on your inaction,” the 37-year-old veteran said. “We have an opportunity to prove to them that is not an accurate depiction of this generation.”
Kander was on KU’s campus to stump for Democratic congressional candidate Paul Davis, a Lawrence attorney running for the 2nd District seat to be vacated by U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins. She has yet to publicly endorse Republican nominee Steve Watkins, a Topeka veteran.
Davis said he sought a seat in the U.S. House to advocate for reforms helpful to college students with loan debt and to make the country a leader on climate change. He said changes to campaign finance law should control super PACs flooding the 2nd District with attack advertising funded by out-of-state billionaires.
“When that happens, it’s our voices that are getting drowned out,” Davis said. “So, I need your help. Big money is increasingly losing elections. I want to see them lose another one right here in the Kansas 2nd because of people power.”