This is starting to become interesting, just how effectively Kansas Republicans create a bright yellow line between federal elections and elections for members of the Kansas House and Kansas Senate.

The real issue, of course, is that Trump is president and would like to stay in that job for another four years. And his name will be on the top of the ballot next year with “R” behind his name.

Oh, and yes, he’s a dab divisive both within his adopted Republican Party and the nation in general. You can talk about that among yourselves…

While the Republican Party of Kansas needs to make re-electing Trump an issue of vital import for Kansas Republican voters, it also needs to separate that national posture from the job of maintaining its dominance in the Kansas Legislature.

That’s why the GOP primary races for the U.S. House and Senate are important to the party, but the real work for the party is here at home, within Kansas borders.

Practically, the state party doesn’t get involved in Kansas legislative GOP primary races, but at the federal level, say, choosing delegates for the Republican National Convention next year that will select the party’s presidential nominee, it’s going to be an all-Trump delegation that the state sends to Charlotte, N.C., next August.

The real issue here, and the real challenge here, is separating the party’s in-state duties from its national political stance. That is going to interesting to watch.

There are Kansas Republican legislators, of course, who are considerably more moderate than Trump, and probably weren’t among the 56.8 percent of Kansans who voted for him back in 2016… They are in that group that voted to expand Medicaid and who voted against the tax bill that Democrat Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed. Lots of Rs behind those votes.

Those are votes that were important to Kansas, but probably didn’t raise many eyebrows in the White House.

And while Republicans are seeing their Kansas Legislature grow more moderate on the state legislative level, the party’s support for Trump probably is the GOP’s biggest gift to Democrats.

Gift to Democrats? Yes, because after more than two years in office, it’s likely that it won’t take much work for them to describe those legislative candidates who are Republicans as “Trumpers.”

It would take some special legislation to allow Democrats to notch the ears of Republicans seeking legislative seats next year, but it won’t be hard for nearly every Democrat to put a bullet point on his/her palm cards to make sure that voters know that Republicans seeking a House or Senate seat are from the same party that Trump now leads.

Thinking that if Democrats come up with a reasonable middle-of-the-road candidate for President that they might see some gains in House and Senate seats in Kansas? Possibly. But just the name Trump at the top of the ballot is going to be a factor when you’re trying to decide whether your Kansas House or Senate member is going to vote for a new highway plan or possibly reduce the sales tax on groceries instead of paring income taxes for corporations with international revenues.

We may be looking at one of those years coming up in which Kansans make a sharp division between the folks we send off to Washington and those we send to Topeka for the winter. While Democrats’ best strategy is to probably turn every Republican into a Trumper, state legislative Republicans need to focus on their districts, the local issues that send them to Topeka.

We’ll see how that works out…

— Syndicated by Hawver News Company LLC of Topeka; Martin Hawver is publisher of Hawver’s Capitol Report—to learn more about this nonpartisan statewide political news service, visit the website at

(12) comments


Everything Brownback said would happen, DIDN'T! Brownback was and is a Total LIAR!!!!!!


Speaking of that point! Where is the Grocery Tax cut your newly elected Gov. ran on???? Seems to me she has had multiple opportunities to come through on this "promise" ????????????????????????????????????

Alphonse Sicard

Ask our state lawmakers that question.


That is correct, whatever bellyaching there is BELONGS ON the BELLIES of the Legislature! I am sure, had they approved it...KELLY would have signed it! Whatever is wrong, NOT Right with Kansas, is SQUARELY ON REPUBLICANS! Republicans can do anything they want. They have total Veto Power! Democrats are ABSOLUTELY, TOTALLY BLAMELESS for anything wrong, not working, in KANSAS! So, Shut Up Republicans!


Your governor has stated that reducing that tax would cause shortfalls in the near future. Sometimes being financially responsible means making unpopular decisions and sacrifices. The hole Brownback's idiotic experiment left in Kansas' pockets is going to take years to recover from.


Did you froth like this when YOUR REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR WAS IN OFFICE? Shut Up!

Out Of Here

She was more interested in trying to extend food and cash assistance to those that were not meeting work requirements (and she backed off of that when the AG threatened to sue her for ignoring the law that was in place concerning just that), rather than reducing the grocery tax for those that work and could benefit, the working poor. This being more concerned with non-productive people has got to stop as it is driving many out of the state who are tired of carrying the burden. She wants to make it a welfare state, and "they" will come here to reap the benefits. Get ready to empty your pockets!


Why are Republicans so focused on only helping certain types of people and letting the rest suffer? SnowGypsy said ""She (governor Kelly) wants to make it a welfare state, and "they" will come here to reap the benefits."" Sounds like a pretty crappy thing to say, but snowgypsy feeling like she is above "them" (whoever that is) is becoming laughable. We are all equal. Some need a little more help than others, but we shouldn't just be letting people suffer.

Even rats, when offered the choice of a tempting chocolate treat, or rescuing a drowning rat, they chose to rescue the drowning rat. Rats have more empathy than most republicans.

Out Of Here

Number 1, these people that lost benefits did so because they did not follow the rules. They did not work 20 hours a week (many of us work many, many more) or participate in job training. When a state is easy, say not enforcing welfare laws, others come in. In the last 2 years, 502 registered sex offenders have moved from MO to KS because of KS being so lax. They move from other states in order to milk the system here. Maybe focus needs on the citizens that have supported the state for some time rather than those focused on coming for the benefits when the governor doesn't want to follow the laws of the state. Pretty sorry when the Attorney General of Kansas has to threaten the Governor with a lawsuit. Kelly received almost a million dollars about 1/3 of her campaign funding from out-of-state. And, yes, for all of those that whine that it isn't fair when outsiders get involved with how things in the state play out. You are aware that rats are also cannibals, right? I don't put myself on the level of rats, but for those that do..............Too funny! Ever heard of a parasitic lifestyle? Tell you what, if you have all of this "empathy" for others who choose not to follow the rules, work with your favorite charity to solve the issue. I am tired of supporting those that refuse to follow our laws, and that includes the governor who is focused on "other than the well-being of the state"!

Alphonse Sicard

It was not a choice of extending food assistance or reducing the grocery tax. And who exactly are "they" that you are referring to? Is it the 5000 or so Kansans that are losing their food assistance?

Out Of Here

Actually, if she thought more about the citizens paying her salary, she would have been concentrating on reducing the grocery tax rather than reaching out trying to recruit more people into the state with their hands out! She is looking for votes, and she knows she'll have to recruit someone other than those paying taxes if she concentrates on her "campaign promises". "They" have a choice of working or attending job training, so they are giving up their food assistance because they refuse to follow the rules. There are exceptions in place for those that truly can't work, but for the able-bodied, they need to get off the sofa and find a job. Plenty of openings for those that want to work! People that live on the MO/KS border go to MO to shop for groceries, not sure about our other borders of the state. This results in a loss of revenue. You can save quite a bite of money going into MO too! Been there and done that!

Alphonse Sicard

Yea, I'm not driving 2+hours to get my groceries. And believe it or not I'm fine with paying those taxes to support my state and those that need the extra support.

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