TOPEKA (KSNT) – One thing emerged very clearly from Saturday’s Kansas Republican Party Convention in Topeka – the party faithful in the Sunflower State are looking for new faces.
The annual convention attracted some high profile figures like US Senator Joni Earnst of Iowa, who delivered the Republican response to the State of the Union address, South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy and Kansas Day Club Banquet speaker Rep. Steve Russell of Iowa.
Also on hand the political leaders of the party in Kansas, Gov. Sam Brownback, S Sen. Pat Roberts and Sen. Jerry Moran.
Two themes dominated the conversation at this year’s convention, proving that now Republicans control both houses of Congress that they can govern and offering up their thoughts on who should be the party’s nominee in 2016 for the US Presidential race.
A straw poll conducted during the convention showed that on the later topic, the party is looking at new blood. The 182 person state party committee was asked to pick their top two preferences for president, and none of the high profile candidates in 2012 even made the top five.
Leading the list was Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker followed by best-selling author Ben Carson, Texas US Senator Ted Cruz, Florida US Senator Marco Rubio and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush leads the second “top 5” with lots of familiar names from the 2012 race trailing after including Kentucky US Sen.Rand Paul, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Pennsylvania Rep. Rick Santorum.
One other note from the convention is the party tentatively set it’s Kansas Republican Presidential Caucus date for Saturday, March 5, 2016. The national convention that year will be in Cleveland from July 18-21, 2016.