Conservative Republicans plan to hold their own national convention in Kansas City, Mo., and endorse a presidential candidate this fall, but Lawrence GOP officials say that is not an indication of a further split within the party.
Officials are scheduled to announce this morning that the convention will be held Oct. 8-10, about three months before the start of the presidential primary season.
The convention is being sponsored by the National Federation of Republican Assemblies, an umbrella group of state organizations that represent conservative Republicans.
The Kansas Republican Assembly was formed after the state GOP convention in January, when moderate Republicans took back control of the state party from conservatives.
The leadership changed after moderates won a majority of precinct committee seats in three of the state's four congressional districts. The precinct committee elections were held during the August Republican primary.
In Douglas County, however, conservatives maintained a slim majority in the Republican organization.
Jim Mullins, chairman of the Douglas County Republican Committee, said the purpose of the October convention will be for conservatives to endorse a Republican presidential candidate, but he said it was not an attempt to start forming a third political party that would compete against moderate Republicans and Democrats.
"The NFRA is a Republican group just like many others, including the GOP Clubs, the liberal Mainstream Coalition, or any of the other ad hoc groups," Mullins said. "Those groups also get together and endorse candidates."
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