Church spokesman Jonathan Phelps, the son of the churchs leader, said he didnt know much about Wu. He sees Wu at church most Sundays.
It seems like he believes what he says, Phelps said. I think hes a nice guy.
But Campbell, 70, said she thinks Wu is negatively focused, especially with comments hes posted on his Web site about public education preparing its students to be liars, crooks, thieves, murderers, and perverts.
That is very sad that anyone would go that route in their thoughts about the education system, she said. I have a lot of respect for our educators. Anyone that decides to be a teacher starts out knowing that their income isnt going to be what it could be. That shows they are dedicated to our children.
And then theres the issue of evolution.
Kansas is one of 26 states working with the National Research Council to develop voluntary standards to be used by multiple states. The proposed standards direct teachers to engage students in research in evolution and natural selection. Evolutions pivotal place in life science is not diluted, and there is no mention of creationism.
If the proposed science standards came before the board today, the vote would likely be 7 to 3 in favor, political observers believe.
However, the standards wont be complete until after the Nov. 6 school board election, when five seats will be on the ballot, including the race pitting Wu against Campbell, who favors teaching evolution.
While Wu appears to bring little firepower to the race he lists no support from any prominent political groups hes not someone who should be overlooked, especially in a heavily Republican state, said Mark Desetti, lobbyist for the Kansas National Education Association.
We take everybody seriously, especially in a state where there is one-party dominance like there is in Kansas, Desetti said.
Desetti cautioned that voters might be more focused on the presidential race and higher profile statehouse races, so it might be easy to overlook a state school board race and just vote along party lines.
I honestly believe that if Kansans know this guy, if they know what he says, they would not vote for him, he said. Ive read his Web site. Ive read his views. As a parent, I would find them quite disturbing that he could be setting education policy for the state of Kansas.
Wu said he is a graduate of what used to be called California State University-Hayward where he was involved in student government, and also ran for the Kansas House in 2010.
Wu is well aware of the attention his latest candidacy has attracted and expects people to scoff at his beliefs. But he said his candidacy is not about being part of the political mainstream.
If youre mainstream, youre going to hell, he said.