KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Two local Kansas lawmakers who faced criminal charges in the past two years will not be reelected.
State Reps. Aaron Coleman and Mark Samsel were both soundly defeated in their primary races Tuesday night.
Now their female challengers will move on to the general election in November where one is already expected to win the seat.
Coleman, who represents part of Kansas City, Kansas, came in third with just 13% of the vote in the Democratic primary for Kansas’ House District 37.
Melissa Oropeza, who received 49% of votes, will advance to the November election, according to unofficial results from Wyandotte County. Faith Rivera garnered about 38% of votes.
“Congrats to Melissa Oropeza. I hope this decision is the best for everyone,” Coleman wrote on Twitter. “Thank you to all my supporters and everyone who voted.”
Coleman made headlines even before he was elected two years ago.
Shortly before his first primary in 2020, reports surfaced that Coleman had engaged in revenge porn and abused an ex-girlfriend. He admitted to doing the revenge porn and said he regretted it but had learned from his mistakes.
After he was elected, Coleman criticized Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly on social media, sharing what many considered a threat against the governor. Democrats in the House said they planned to oust him as soon as he took office, though they were unsuccessful.
In late 2020, he also had a temporary anti-stalking order issued against him at the request of a former opponent’s campaign manager.
But his real legal trouble came in fall 2021 when he was charged with a misdemeanor count of domestic battery in Johnson County. Court documents say he assaulted his brother and threatened his grandfather.
With no prior convictions, he ultimately received diversion in this case and agreed to undergo mental health counseling.
Weeks after his domestic battery arrest, Coleman was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in Douglas County. The Kansas Highway Patrol said Coleman was speeding, straddling the yellow line and drove onto the left shoulder as he passed the trooper.
Months later, however, prosecutors declined to charge him with DUI; he only received two traffic infractions.
Earlier this year, the Kansas Democratic Party suspended Coleman for two years. It means he cannot participate in party events, serve in an elected or appointed capacity within the party, or using party resources for a campaign.
Samsel, of Wellsville, received about 36.6% of the vote in the Republican primary for Kansas’ House District 5.
Challenger Carrie Barth garnered 63.4% and will advance to the general election in November, according to unofficial results from the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office. However, the Republican primary winner is poised to win the seat because there is no Democrat running for the seat.
In 2021, Samsel was charged with battery involving a student in Franklin County while working as a substitute teacher in the Wellsville School District.
Videos show Samsel ranting at students, talking about sex, suicide and other inappropriate things, even using profanity in front of the students.
Samsel was accused of kicking a student in the groin and yelling, “I’m going to unleash the wrath of God on you,” according to charging documents.
Samsel surrendered his state substitute teaching license and later said extreme stress caused what he called an isolated episode of mania with psychotic features. He said he has since been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and is getting treatment.
Last fall, he agreed to plea to three counts of disorderly conduct. He was sentenced to 90 days of suspended jail time. The deal also included 12 months of probation, a personal social media ban and other stipulations.