Kansas Republicans have narrowly elected an activist who has promoted an unsubstantiated election conspiracy and promised reshuffle to lead the state’s Republican Party for the next two years, after weeks of infighting that reflects acrimony in the party across the U.S.

Within 30 minutes of the Kansas Republican Party’s leadership change, its state committee considered a resolution calling for the U.S. House of Representatives to impeach President Joe Biden for “tyranny” over comments he and his aides made in the summer of 2021 condemning the spread of disinformation. vaccines against the coronavirus within the GOP. The committee tabled the resolution until the next meeting.

The Kansas State Committee has selected Mike Brown, a long-time GOP activist in the Kansas City area, as its new chairman for the 2024 election. The vote comes three months after Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly narrowly won re-election and the only Democrat in the state’s congressional delegation, U.S. Rep. Cherise Davids, won another term in her Kansas City district.

Outgoing Kansas GOP Chairman Mike Kuckelman and two other Republican National Committee members have endorsed the RNC chair Rhona McDaniel when she was re-elected last month. But Brown called on McDaniel to resign in December, and he said Saturday that the national Republican Party is seeing an internal “rebellion” of members still upset by the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The RNC should pay very close attention to this,” Brown said. “This is the future of our party.”

Last year, Brown ran unsuccessfully as a Republican for Kansas Secretary of State. Both he and his opponent, Helen Van Etten, a longtime Topeka activist and former RNC member, have vowed to revive the Kansas party. But Brown asked fellow Republicans if they were satisfied with the results of the last two gubernatorial races, which Kelly won, and Davids’ re-election victories.

The vote — with Brown ahead 90-88 — came amid an unexpectedly poor performance by the Republican Party in the 2022 midterm elections, when it won fewer seats than expected in the US House of Representatives and failed to regain a majority in the US Senate.

In Kansas, the Republican Party is holding on voter registration preference, meaning that Democrats win big races by attracting the votes of moderate Republicans and independent voters, while Republicans usually prevail when the party is unified.

“We need more unity,” state Rep. Patrick Penn, R-Wichita, told GOP committee members. – This is the essence of the matter.

Some Republicans have framed the contest between Brown and Van Etten as a fight between wing vs. establishment vs. establishment.

The infighting ahead of Saturday’s vote was particularly intense in Johnson County, a Kansas City area that is the state’s most populous county and home to Brown and retiring state Chairman Mike Kukelman. The district’s affluent suburbs were once GOP strongholds, but they’ve become noticeably more Democratic since 2018 — and that was crucial to Kelly and Davids’ victories.

The new chairman of the Johnson County Republican Party, a Brown ally concerned about the county’s “purple creeps,” told members of the state GOP committee that Kukelman was “absolutely disgusting” about Brown. Kukelman responded with several emails, including one in which he accused Brown of being soft on abortion and pro-gun rights.

At the Republican National Committee, McDaniel overcame opposition from the ultra-wing of the Make America Great Again party, despite being handpicked by former President Donald Trump in 2016.

In Michigan, two GOP candidates denying President Joe Biden a 2020 victory have been canvassing for party offices ahead of next weekend’s convention. In Nebraska last year, pro-Trump Republicans fired the state chairman during a stormy convention after a Trump-backed candidate lost the GOP gubernatorial primary.

Brown promoted unsubstantiated theories that Trump supporters used to support the former president’s false claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him. He is a construction contractor who served on the Johnson County Commission before losing his seat in 2020.

Brown lost the Republican primary for secretary of state to Republican Scott Schwab, who has vouched for the integrity of Kansas elections.

Van Etten, a retired audiologist, served at the RNC from 2008 to 2020. She is also a former member of the state board that oversees the Kansas system of higher education.

She promised the members of the State Committee a “very aggressive” program for the creation of local party organizations: “We are ready and want to unify the party.”

One supporter, Michael Austin, a conservative economist, researcher and consultant in Kansas City, said: “We need experience. We need connections.”

During the meeting of the State Committee, Kukelman defended the track record of the current party leadership, noting that the party has no debts.

Kim Borchers, a longtime Topeka activist who serves on the RNC, defended McDaniel and defiantly dismissed complaints about the party establishment. It was attended by state committees with more than five years of experience.

“Welcome to the institution,” she said. “I call it commitment.”


Previous articleHope for salvation fades as reconstruction efforts continue in Turkey and Syria
Next articleBuckeye Ranch will begin a new expansion