TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Kansas Democrats are locked in a heated battle over a top party official in a fight that is expected to come to a head when they gather in Wichita next week for an annual convention.

The Wichita Eagle reports the rift is exposing divisions among Democrats ahead of elections next year.

The conflict centers on party secretary Casey Yingling. She is part of the political consulting firm working for Democratic congressional candidate James Thompson. He lost a special election earlier this year to Republican Ron Estes to fill a vacant Wichita-area congressional seat.

Democratic State Committee members may vote on Yingling’s recall during the convention.

A petition alleges she had a conflict when as a member of the party’s executive committee she voted on a $20,000 request for Thompson’s campaign.