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February 17, 2010

Opinion No. 2010-03

The Honorable Carol A. Beier

3620 Southwest 11th Street

Topeka, Kansas 66604

Dear Justice Beier:

This opinion is in response to your letter of February 12, 2010 in which you request an opinion from the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission concerning the Campaign Finance Act (K.S.A. 25-4142 et seq.). We note at the outset that the Commission's jurisdiction concerning your question is limited to the application of K.S.A. 25-4142 et seq. Thus, whether some other statute, common law theory or agency rule or regulation applies to your inquiry is not covered by this opinion.


We understand that you request this opinion in your capacity as a Kansas Supreme Court Justice. You are interested in obtaining information concerning your responsibilities under the Campaign Finance Act since you will have a retention election this year.


Is a retention election for the position of Justice of the Kansas Supreme Court governed by the Kansas Campaign Finance Act?


K.S.A. 25-4143(m) defines "State office" to mean any state office as defined in K.S.A. 25-2505 and amendments thereto.

K.S.A. 25-2505(b) states "'State office' or "state officer" means the state officers elected on a statewide basis, members of the house of representatives and state senators, members of the state board of education, district judges, district magistrate judges and district attorneys".

Since the position of Supreme Court Justice is not included in the definition of "state officer", the Campaign Finance Act does not govern your retention election.


Tim Emert, Vice-Chairman

By Direction of the Commission