Kansas conservatives look to November following amendment defeat

With voters in the state saying “no,” on the "Value Them Both" amendment question, the conservative party is looking ahead.
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 10:51 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Tuesday’s primary election was historic in terms of timing and turnout with nearly one million Kansans voting. Kansas was the first state to vote on abortion rights since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

The Value Them Both Amendment on Tuesday’s ballot had the backing of several groups, including the Kansas Republican Party. With voters in the state saying “no,” the conservative party is looking ahead.

“We had one of the largest turnouts in a primary election and this election was about the constitutional amendment, and we now know the result of that. And for the Republican Party, we are now looking (toward) the general election,” Former Kansas Republican Party Chairman Kelly Arnold said.

Arnold said with the primary election results in the rear-view mirror, the mindset of the Republican party hasn’t really changed.

“We’re going to keep our eye on the ball, talking about the issues that Kansans care about,” he said. “We’re going back to what people talk to us about, and that’s economy, businesses.”

Kris Kobach’s win in the Republican primary for Kansas attorney general is another storyline worth following for the GOP. Arnold said the Kobach’s victory wasn’t unexpected. He also said many Republicans have concerns about Kobach’s ability to win in a general election, going back to his loss to Laura Kelly in the 2018 Kansas governor’s race.

“So, the Republicans have some work to do. Kris Kobach as a lot of work to do to be able to secure the support of the Republican party base, our voters, and also the independents that will be voting in this election” Arnold said. Wichita State University Political Science Chair Dr. Neal Allen said Kansas Republicans will have to have some serious discussions about their relationship with the anti-abortion movement and other social issues. He also said with “Vote No” winning on Tuesday from the constitutional amendment question concerning abortion rights, this shouldn’t be seen as a victory for the Democratic party. And if voters had tied the “no” vote directly to the Democratic party, it probably would not have done as well.

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