Lawrence Republican Scott Morgan considering run for Secretary of State

There’s talk in political circles that Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach may face a challenge in the Republican primary, and it may come from an unlikely source — a Lawrence Republican.

Former Lawrence school board member and one-time Washington, D.C., staffer Scott Morgan told me today that he is considering a run. I’m not sure what I would peg the chances of him running at, but he certainly didn’t want to close the door on the possibility.

“I’m considering lots of things, but so are a lot of other people,” Morgan said.

Morgan said he is part of a group of moderate Republicans who are increasingly becoming convinced that the far right wing of the Republican Party needs to be challenged more in primaries.

“These movements come and go, but they only go when people stand up and try to push them back,” Morgan said.

Morgan served two four-year terms on the Lawrence school board, but got started in politics as a staff member for Sen. Nancy Kassebaum and later for Sen. Bob Dole. Morgan also served as a nonvoting member of the Federal Elections Commission in the mid-1980s, when Dole was Senate majority leader. More recently, Morgan unsuccessfully ran for a state Senate seat in Lawrence in 2008, losing to Democrat Marci Francisco.

Kobach already has drawn a Democratic challenger. Jean Schodorf, who previously served in the state legislature as a Republican, switched parties to challenge Kobach.

Morgan said he has no desire to find an alternative party, but said he is concerned about Kobach’s leadership. Kobach has been a champion for a law that requires proof of citizenship for voters.

“The burden of proof should be on the government, not on the person wanting to vote,” Morgan said. “This is too basic of a right to let government block people’s right to vote.

“It is such a weird attitude for a secretary of state. Instead of going after the fraud, you put out a blanket litmus test to stop the wrong type of people from voting, I guess.”

Morgan said he doesn’t have a timeline — other than the June 2 filing deadline — for deciding whether to run.