It’s no secret that generational change begins with campaigns for lower level offices. Nowhere is this observation more evident than in Kansas.
The biggest news of last night’s elections was not Todd Akin’s upset win for Senate in Missouri. It was the conservative takeover of the RINO state senate in Kansas.
Believe it or not, Kansas is such a Republican state that it has a large and powerful liberal group of Republicans. In order to win office in most parts of the state, candidates must run as Republicans. Over the years, liberal Democrats have saturated the ranks of the party to the point that they now control the senate. Even though Republicans enjoy a 32-8 majority, there are a dozen or so pro-choice, pro-Obamacare, pro-tax hiking RINOs that have stymied conservative initiatives from the house and governor. These liberals have blocked conservatives on issues ranging from abortion, healthcare, public-sector pensions, labor, and judicial nominees.
Kansas is not a red state. It is a purple one.
But last night, it definitely trended red because last night conservatives actually flipped the state senate. They knocked out 9 liberal Republicans in primaries, including their leader, Senate President Steve Morris. We literally picked up a state legislature from the Democrats in one night!
Let’s face it, the higher the office we pursue, the harder it is to dislodge the statists. That’s why with the exception of Reagan, we have never nominated a conservative for president. That’s why we have fewer viable conservatives running for Senate than for House. But it is with state legislatures that we can make our impact and build a farm team for future federal offices. Moreover, it’s states like Kansas, where Republicans control all branches of government, in which we have the opportunity to demonstrate conservative governance. Unfortunately, many of those states still have a number of moderate to liberal Republicans occupying the majorities in the legislatures. That needs to change.
In the coming months and years, we are committed to shedding light on performance of state legislative bodies in a similar manner that we used for Congress with the Madison Performance Index. As activists, we need to begin asking ourselves if our Republican legislatures are utilizing the districts to promote a conservative agenda. Kansas should serve as the blue print for the other roughly two dozen states where we control the legislatures.
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