The chairman of the Kansas Republican Party is urging GOP lawmakers to support election law changes that he says are “critical to the Kansas Republican Party.” Kelly Arnold, the state GOP chairman, sent Republican House members an e-mail asking them to support HB 2104. … The bill would push local elections to the fall of odd-numbered years and eliminate presidential primaries in the state. Kansas hasn’t held a presidential primary since 1992 and passing the bill would help solidify the caucus system that the GOP has used in recent presidential elections.
In his e-mail, Arnold tells GOP lawmakers that the presidential primary “needs to go, permanently. It is expensive; our state cannot afford the ($) 2,000,000 cost.” Unlike the primary, the caucus has no cost to the state. However, presidential candidates must pay a $10,000 fee to the party participate.
Shifting local elections to the fall has been a contentious issue in the Legislature for several years. The state party initially called for local elections to be partisan and take place in the fall on even-numbered years when federal and state elections take place.
Keeping local races nonpartisan and on odd-numbered years is a compromise. Supporters of moving election dates say it will double turnout.