Rift in Kansas GOP boils over after loss in governor’s race
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A push by top Kansas Republicans to punish party officials who backed an independent candidate for governor is shining a spotlight on an internal rift.
The conflict involving state Sen. Dennis Pyle could hinder GOP leaders’ efforts to steer the state back to the right over Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s objections.
Many Republicans blame Pyle’s campaign for Kelly’s narrow reelection victory Nov. 8 over three-term Republican state Attorney General Derek Schmidt.
But five hard-right lawmakers said in a Facebook statement this week that GOP “establishment manipulations” were the culprit. They denounced the state party’s chair for moving to sanction party officials who violated a party ban against supporting non-Republicans.
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