Amy Jeffries

Kansas Elections Editor
Bryan Thompson / Kansas News Service

Fire crews battled hot spots overnight Tuesday in Reno County, but residents of one of the hardest-hit neighborhoods were allowed back to their houses.

No deaths or injuries were reported in the county, but eight homes were destroyed.

Velera Adams and her husband got the call, along with thousands of others, to evacuate from rural Hutchinson just as night fell Monday. She said they drove to a church parking lot just outside the evacuation zone.

Kansas Army National Guard / Facebook

Ninety-eight percent of Kansas remains under red flag warnings. Gov. Sam Brownback says the conditions are ripe for fire.

After a good grassland growing season last year, there's been little rain since November...and then came the wind.

Two-thousand firefighters are working the fires across the state. On Tuesday, Blackhawk helicopters were dropping water to knock back flames in Reno County.

“We’ve had moisture down at 6 percent humidity in the Hutchinson area, which is drier than the desert,” Brownback says.

Amy Jeffries / KCUR

The campaign to fill CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s Kansas congressional seat is underway.

The election on April 11 will be the first congressional contest to be decided since President Donald Trump took office. Republicans near and far are treating it as an early test of the new president’s agenda.

Stephen Koranda

There will be a political shift in the Kansas legislature with the new leaders lawmakers selected Monday. Conservatives will hold on to the very top jobs for 2017, but more moderate Republicans also picked up key positions. There is turnover among some of the Democratic leadership posts too.

All the change reflects gains made by moderate Republicans in the August primaries, and gains by Democrats in November, especially in the House. The move to the center on the Senate side is more subtle, but nonetheless notable.

KANSAS LEGISLATURE, COLORING BY KELLY TATE

Next Monday, Dec. 5, all of the lawmakers elected to the Kansas Legislature will meet in Topeka to nominate new leadership for the 2017 session.

Democracynow.org

  

Kansas was the birthplace of Prohibition and an epicenter of the anti-abortion movement.

Historian and political analyst Thomas Frank -- a Mission Hills, Kansas, native -- wrote a whole book, What's the Matter With Kansas, about how politics in the state has been fueled by conservative social ideals. But last Tuesday, Kansas went for Donald Trump, at the same time it voted in a more moderate Legislature.

CC0 PUBLIC DOMAIN

Election Day is here, so it's time to get down to brass tacks. Our collaborative team covering elections in Kansas has been answering your questions, big and small.

Katie in Shawnee has the essential question:

“What’s the best place to find who will be on the ticket for my district, and what’s the best way to look at their platform?”

Webmaster102/Wikimedia Commons

One outcome of the 2016 elections that we know already: The make-up of the Kansas Legislature will be different.

That raises some questions, like this one our Kansas elections coverage team got from Cynthia in Leawood:

Is it possible that Kansas will elect enough moderates to reverse the open carry gun policies in KS, especially on college campuses? Would Brownback veto such a measure?

Programwitch / flickr Creative Commons

Our Kansas elections coverage team is taking questions (submit yours here). 

One question that seems to come up almost every election season is why people sometimes vote against their own best interests -- specifically their economic interests.

Diane Wahto of Wichita asked it this way:

“Why do Kansans often vote against their best interests? ... When we don't have money to fix the highways or fund social programs, who cares about those other things?”

Stephen Koranda / KPR, File Photo

We’re almost three months away from the next Kansas Legislative session, and the top Republican in the Senate is already predicting overtime.

There will be a monster agenda facing lawmakers when they return to Topeka in January.

The state is already $60 million in the hole, and that is likely to worsen. So legislators will have to raise taxes, cut budgets or both.

Senate President Susan Wagle is expected to be reelected to the chamber. On KCUR’s podcast Statehouse Blend, she says there’s too much work for the allotted time.

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