Kansas politics | KCUR

Kansas politics

Nomin Ujiyediin / Kansas News Service

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts has ended the talk — and there's been a lot of it — about his political future. The senior senator from Kansas announced in Manhattan Friday that he won’t be campaigning for a fifth term.

“I will serve the remainder of this term as your senator, fighting for Kansas in these troubled times. However, I will not be a candidate in 2020,” Roberts told a gathering at the state Department of Agriculture, standing behind a podium decorated with a shock of wheat.

Kansas Legislature

(This story was updated at 3 p.m.)

The latest defections from the Kansas Republican Party — two Johnson County legislators — show politicians in some corners of the state trying to catch up with changes in the voters they need to win over.

In quick succession Wednesday morning, Republican moderates state Sen. Dinah Sykes and state Rep. Stephanie Clayton announced they are changing parties.

They followed the path of moderate Republican state Sen. Barbara Bollier, who declared herself a Democrat earlier this month.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

Segment 1: The state senator says she felt increasingly at odds with Republican Party stances on LGBTQ issues and supporting President Trump.

An older white haired man in a black suit and blue shirt sits in front of a microphone.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Former Kansas Senate President Dick Bond on his time in office and Kansas politics today.

An older white man with white hair, wearing a blue sweater.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Is the U.S. "locked in" to a two-party system?

Independent candidate Greg Orman recieved 6.5 percent of the vote in the Kansas gubernatorial election this year, and independents don't fair much better nationally. So is there still hope that a third party candidate can eke out a win? Today we discuss how our two-party system differs from other democracies, and what it could take in our current climate for a third party to find success.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: New Kansas Gov.-elect Laura Kelly is making the transition with the help of Gov. Jeff Colyer and others.

A white piece of paper taped on a brick wall. There is a red arrow on the paper with the word 'Voting' inside.
Keith Ivey / Flickr-CC

Segment 1: Listeners tell us what's driving them to the polls this midterm election.

A woman in Missouri says she is voting for checks and balances on the White House. Another says she is voting for her children and the future of our planet. For some, it is their first time voting in a midterm, or voting at all. Today, we heard about the issues and candidates motivating voters to turn out in what could be record numbers.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3 / Senator Claire McCaskill / Flickr - CC

The midterm election is just a weekend away. Today, we covered the big races on both sides of the state line and some of the ballot measures Missouri voters are set to decide. In the Show-Me State, Attorney General Josh Hawley has been accused by Sen. Claire McCaskill of innapproriate use of consultants, but were the alleged misdeeds revealed too late to make a difference in the result? Meanwhile in Kansas, the contest between Secretary of State Kris Kobach and state Sen. Laura Kelly remains a virtual tie.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: In a tight race for Kansas governor, candidate Kelly touts her bipartisan bona fides.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Incumbent Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder and his challenger, Democrat Sharice Davids, faced off in a debate on Tuesday afternoon, just a week ahead of the midterm election. 

Both are vying for a seat in the Kansas 3rd congressional district, and Tuesday's debate was the first time the candidates had met in person. Yoder called attention to this in his opening statement, accusing Davids of skipping debates.

file photo / Kansas News Service

Two of the top three campaigns for Kansas governor are relying heavily on a single source of cash: their own money.

The last major campaign reports filed before next week’s election revealed that, in the last three months, Kris Kobach’s running mate accounted for nearly half the money hauled in by the Republican candidate.

Kelly cashes in

Democratic state Sen. Laura Kelly raised the most money by a wide margin, pulling in almost $1 million more than Kobach. During the period from July 27 to Oct. 25, Kelly received $2.3 million.

Kris Kobach dressed in a blue dress shirt and tie sits at a microphone.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: If elected, Republican candidate Kris Kobach to use "natural attrition" to reduce number of state employees.

The race between conservative Republican Kris Kobach, Democrat Laura Kelly, and Independent Greg Orman for Kansas governor is too close to call. Today, the state's current top election official laid out his prospective plans for funding education, cutting taxes and shrinking government.

File photo / Kansas News Service

Kris Kobach says his proposal to reform Kansas Medicaid could save the state $2 billion.

At campaign events, the Republican nominee for governor touts the benefits of combining Medicaid with direct primary care, an unconventional payment system that avoids the bureaucracy of health insurance.