The race for State Representative in the 25th District has drawn its second candidate: Jennifer Robinson of Westwood. Robinson is a Democrat and currently the vice-chair of the Johnson County Democratic Party. The seat is currently held by Republican Melissa Rooker of Fairway who has filed for re-election.
Robinson was born in Wichita, grew up in Colorado and has lived in Westwood for 11 years. She has more than 20 years of music and arts administration experience and has worked in Westwood as a consultant with A Renewal Enterprise, based in Chicago, where she has co-authored several books on leadership.
She and her husband, Jack, have two daughters who attend Westwood View Elementary. “We came to Johnson County for a job, but stayed even after the job changed.”
Robinson said the turning point for her decision to run for state representative came during this year’s legislative session. “I was in the House gallery the night our teachers were stripped of their due-process rights. And, I was appalled that after using bully tactics for two days and intimidating their opponents, the leadership rammed through the final bill with virtually no discussion. I came home that night and decided enough was enough. I can no longer stand by quietly while our state is being driven over a cliff.”
Robinson was first drawn to politics in 2008 when she volunteered with the Obama campaign. She has a longer political lineage, though. She is a direct descendant of the first Connecticut governor, Robert Treat. His great-grandson and one of her ancestral uncles, Robert Treat Paine, signed the Declaration of Independence.
Robinson has laid out her positions on several issues on her campaign site, including school funding. She criticizes the Brownback administration and the Kansas Legislature for weakening public schools.
Robinson describes herself as an avid cook and skis competitively with her daughters in the winter. This year they represented Kansas in the NASTAR National Championships in Snowmass. She has bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and a master’s with honors from the University of New Mexico.