TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Races for next year’s elections are already starting to fill out, and the state’s biggest political party is hoping to expand its number of elected officials.
There are more Republicans than Democrats in the state, and now the GOP is focusing on winning more seats in 2020, and it starts with getting its message out.
Last year, Republicans won the most of the statewide and Congressional races but lost the governorship to Laura Kelly and the third district to Sharice Davids.
“The biggest problem we had with voting was in suburban areas, so we need to focus on what need to do on our messaging to delivering in those areas and we’re undertaking to do that now,” said party chairman Michael Kuckelman.
Topeka Senator Eric Rucker said one area, in particular, has changed Kansas politics.
“The Democratic party has had a resurgence in Johnson County and that has changed almost the entire thinking of both parties and how it is they’re going to carry out future elections,” said Rucker.
Republicans are eyeing the third district seat and keeping Senator Pat Roberts’ Senate seat, as well as expanding majorities in the state legislature.
Last year’s legislative session showed that it’s not just Democrats that disagree with many Republicans on certain issues. Moderate and conservative Republicans had some areas of disagreement.
“We have more in common than we have that separates us. Where we do have issues that we have different ideas, I’m not afraid of conflict, in fact, I think there are a lot of very intelligent smart Republicans,” said Kuckelman.
“We should have debate, we should have discussion, and we should find the best solution for each issue in the party and everyone should join behind that.”
Party officials say they hope to win on issues like taxes and abortion.
Rucker said he believes the education funding, Medicaid expansion, and taxes will be at the center of the debate.