Archive for Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Kansas GOP sees transfer of power

District conventions select conservative leaders over moderates

December 14, 2004

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— Conservative Republicans apparently have swept control of the state party in recent district conventions.

"It's fair to say a solid slate of conservative delegates were elected," state GOP Chairman Dennis Jones of Lakin said Monday.

The Republican state committee is expected to elect a new chair, vice chair, secretary and treasurer Jan. 29.

Social conservatives wrested control of Kansas' dominant party from so-called moderates after winning a majority of precinct-level positions in the August primary.

Jones said the takeover by social conservatives meant the party probably would take up resolutions opposing same-sex marriage, abortion, tax increases and gambling.

"It will be more discussed at the party level than they have in the past," he said.

Robin Jackson of Hutchinson, a conservative Republican, was elected vice chair of the party in the 1st Congressional District.

"I would really like to see the state Republican Party have a state platform that mirrors the national platform," Jackson said.

The state GOP has not had a platform for several years because of political battles between its factions.

Jones, who has found himself out of favor with social conservatives, said he would work to ensure a smooth transition of power.

"The last thing we need in the Republican Party is more bickering and divisiveness," he said.

He said Republicans must unite to try to defeat in 2006 Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore, who are both Democrats. Moore represents east Lawrence.

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