The candidate running for the 15th District seat in the Kansas House of Representatives will be the first deaf legislator at the state or federal level in U.S. history, the Kansas City Star reports.
Chris Haulmark’s top issues are increasing public education funding, expanding Medicaid and ensuring equal voting rights for Kansans. He was unopposed in the August Democratic primary and will face Republican John Toplikar in November.
He decided to run for office after he took two years to visit deaf communities in 20 countries around the globe. He started in Mexico at age 35 — the first time he’d ever left the U.S — and then traveled through South America, Europe and Asia.
Chris found that other countries were more accommodating and inclusive to deaf people, and he wanted America to catch up. His travels prepared him for the campaign trail and for U.S. politics, he said.