TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Conservative Republicans who’ve been working to push GOP moderates out of state legislatures in a large section of the country have scored big victories in Kansas, where a state Senate that has been an obstacle to fiscal and social policy changes is likely to have a solid majority on the right next year.
Unlike other states, where results for conservatives have been mixed, Tuesday’s primary in Kansas saw voters in GOP races oust seven incumbent moderate senators. An eighth, Senate President Steve Morris, a moderate Hugoton Republican, trailed his conservative opponent, likely marking the end of Morris’ 20-year career as a legislator.
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The targeted moderate incumbents outspent their conservative challengers, often by margins of 3-to-1 or more and received financial support from the state’s largest teachers’ union and labor groups normally aligned with Democrats. But conservatives had the backing of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and the anti-tax, small-government group Americans for Prosperity, and the result was hundreds of thousands of dollars in spending by both candidates and political action committees.
Some GOP voters transferred their ongoing frustration with Democratic President Barack Obama and the federal health care law he championed to moderate GOP state senators. Some wanted the Senate to be more conservative and more in line with Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and the state House’s right-leaning majority.
“I would like it as conservative as it can get,” said Alex Yoho, a 56-year-old optician from Topeka, who voted for a conservative challenger in his local state Senate race. “You can’t get too conservative for me.”
Read More at OfficialWire. By John Hanna.