Wichita native Donald Betts overcame childhood poverty to become a leader in the Kansas Legislature. When he graduated from college, he became a counselor for at-risk juveniles working in both the juvenile justice and Wichita public school systems. He served in the Kansas House before he became the youngest person ever elected to the Kansas Senate.
Senator Betts and his supporters believe strongly that the political climate in Kansas is changing, making it possible for a Democrat to regain the 4th district seat. In February, Survey USA found that Democratic governor Kathleen Sebelius had a 67 per cent favorable rating, regardless of political affiliation. Survey USA also found that in the Wichita region there was a statistical dead-heat in a possible McCain-Obama race. McCain led by 4 per cent with a margin of error of 4.4 Percent.
Senator Betts is weary of the Bush administration's indifference to those who cannot get affordable health care, who want an end to the war in Iraq and who are fearful for their children's future because of the war-fueled federal deficit and the troubled economy. The incumbent, Todd Tiahrt, has a record of voting 95 per cent of the time with the president.