Political news

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A Wichita attorney has announced plans to challenge Congressman Mike Pompeo next year.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports Dan Giroux, a Democrat, made his announcement Thursday. Giroux said in a news release that the people of south-central Kansas need a representative who will stand up for them and "not special interests."

Kansas Democrats expect to pick a longtime Wichita-area activist as their new state chairman this weekend after the resignation of a leader who suggested rebranding the party.

Prominent Democrats say Derby attorney Lee Kinch emerged quickly as the favored candidate for the job. The party's state committee plans to meet Saturday in Salina to select the new leader.

Stephen Koranda

Speaker John Boehner resigning from the U.S. House might create some new opportunities for Kansas Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins. She currently serves in the leadership as the House Republican Conference vice chair.

University of Kansas Political Science Professor Patrick Miller says if Jenkins is planning to stay in the House, some higher leadership jobs could become available.

The chairman of the state Democratic Party has resigned after efforts to revamp the party’s message for Kansas, where Republicans hold big majorities.

Recently, Kansas Democratic Party Chairman Larry Meeker had been using the phrase “red state Democrats,” arguing that Kansas Democrats are different from Democrats in traditionally blue states.

He said there was room in the party for people with different views about abortion and same-sex marriage. But Democratic activists pushed back, saying Meeker was abandoning some of the party’s core principals.


The state political parties in Kansas are beginning to gear up for the 2016 election, but party leaders are focused on different strategies right now. Stephen Koranda reports on how they’re approaching Statehouse races.

Republicans have big majorities in the Kansas Legislature. State GOP Executive Director Clay Barker says that means they’re right now targeting areas where they’ll face a close race or could pick up a seat.


A mathematician at Wichita State University who wanted to check the accuracy of some Kansas voting machines after finding odd patterns in election returns is finding out how difficult it can be to get government officials to turn over public documents.

Kansas would make it easier for candidates to spread their messages through social media and would require lobbyists to publicly disclose whether tax dollars are financing their activities under a measure that received final legislative approval Sunday.

A 66-48 vote in the House for the elections and lobbying bill sends it to Gov. Sam Brownback for his possible signature after the Senate approved the measure Saturday.

Jeff Carmody

Kansas Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins emphasized the role of women in community leadership on Sunday, when she delivered the Dole Lecture at the University of Kansas.

"Whether we learn it as babysitters or big sisters or mothers, we are good at keeping everybody happy and a lot of balls in the air and multitasking," Congresswoman Jenkins says. "We just have unique skill sets that maybe some of our men don't have." 

She also highlighted some of the challenges of a career in public office.

Lancerenok / Flickr--Creative Commons

The state’s highest court has taken up the dispute over the legality of a new voter-approved ordinance in the state’s largest city that lessens criminal penalties for marijuana possession.

The Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday ordered Wichita to respond by May 6 to arguments made by the Kansas attorney general seeking to nullify the ordinance because it conflicts with state law. The court also halted for now proceedings in Sedgwick County District Court that had also aimed to resolve the issue.

City of Wichita


Voters in Wichita have chosen their next mayor: Current Wichita City Council Member Jeff Longwell easily defeated retired advertising executive Sam Williams, collecting nearly 60 percent of the vote. 

Money spent during the campaign didn’t translate to votes at the polls. Williams out-raised opponent Jeff Longwell by more than $70,000, but, it was Longwell who cruised to an easy victory.