The candidates say they offer legitimate political differences. Their conservative critics say it is a campaign trick.
Jeff Ippel is a Republican, involved in a three-way primary race for a seat in the Kansas House. His wife, Pam, is unopposed in the August Democratic primary - for the same seat.
Pam Ippel, whose platform emphasizes health care and funding for education, said she was the first to enter the race for an open seat from this Kansas City suburb.
"The more Jeff thought about it, the more he thought he'd have a better chance," she said.
"Better ideas," said her husband, who is running on a platform of smaller government and fewer illegal immigrants.