Politics

Political news

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.

Sedgwickcounty.org

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.

Sedgwickcounty.org

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. 

Beth Golay

Wichita Mayoral Candidates participated in a forum last week sponsored by non-profit business leaders. It’s one of several forums leading up to the general election April 7th. KMUW’s Carla Eckels reports…

City Council member Jeff Longwell and Former Advertising Executive Sam Williams were asked to identify the top challenges facing the city as well as their priorities if elected mayor.

Bruce Charles / Flickr

 

The race for Wichita’s next mayor was narrowed in Tuesday night’s primary elections. The ballot also featured primary races for two Wichita City Council seats. 

The field of 10 mayoral candidates included a banker, business owners and politicians. In the end, it went to the two who raised the most money.

Jeff Longwell, a current Wichita City Council member, will face Sam Williams, a notable Wichita marketing executive. 

Carla Eckels

Voter turnout in Wichita has been light Tuesday as predicted. Still, some determined voters made it to the polls. KMUW's Carla Eckels reports...

 

There were a few in the early hours Tuesday, but the largest number of voters--nearly 150--took advantage of the lunch hour to vote at the Wichita State Metroplex. Poll staff hope the numbers will increase after work.

Charlene Chapman says she took part in community forums with mayoral candidates which she says made her decision easy. She says it’s important to vote.

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