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Archive for Saturday, July 24, 2004

One Kansas delegate no longer in Kansas

July 24, 2004

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One member of Kansas' 47-person delegation to the Democratic National Convention in Boston is no longer a Kansan.

Chris Gallaway, a former Lawrence resident, now lives in Alexandria, Va., where he is president of Young Democrats for America. He formerly served as the executive director of the Kansas Democratic Party.

In an e-mail Friday to the Journal-World, Gallaway said his spot in the delegation is a function of his Young Democrats office -- making him a so-called "superdelegate" -- not because of any Kansas affiliation.

"As YDA president I am a member of the (Democratic National Committee)," Gallaway said. "All members of the DNC are automatic convention delegates."

He added: "Though I am a proud Kansan, born and raised, I represent and vote for YDA, not Kansas, on the DNC."

Mark Simpson, current director of the Kansas Democratic Party, had a slightly different explanation.

"He's part of the Kansas delegation because he was here when he was appointed a superdelegate," Simpson said this week.

The state party's bylaws, available online, don't appear to contain a residence requirement for inclusion in the delegation at the national convention. Simpson said that was his understanding as well.

A call to the Democratic National Committee for further comment went unreturned.

Gallaway came under scrutiny in 2002 when it became public that he had not paid more than $18,000 in parking tickets to the city of Topeka during his time with the state party. He also was sued six times between 1998 and 2001 for writing bad checks and failing to pay his credit card bill.

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