Sunday, January 10, 2010

Top of the Week Headlines and Happenings

  • A local Johnson Countian with an interest in politics has created a new blog where he provides thoughtful commentary and analysis on national issues from a center-right perspective. Kansas has a dearth of thoughtful political blogs, and Kevin Edwards new addition is much welcome. Check it out at -- I've added the blog to my favorites blog listings on the right.
  • Are you an 18-40 year old Republican in Johnson County? The Johnson County Young Republican Transition meeting has been rescheduled for this Wednesday, January 13th at 6:30 pm at Old Chicago (119th and Metcalf). Anyone interested in becoming more involved in the 2010 elections is welcome to attend--we also have several Executive Board positions still open, including Secretary, PR Chair, Membership Chair, and Vice - Chair of Membership. If you know any interested parties, please spread the word! Hope to see you there, and contact if you're interested in a board position or would like to join the organization.
  • Are Republicans finally embracing online technology and social media? The Brownback campaign is not only embracing the technology--they're creating the latest wave of 21st century social media communications. The Brownback campaign recently launched a revolutionary "SamForGov" iPhone application, the first-ever iPhone application used by a gubernatorial campaign in America. Check out more at:
  • Speaking of the Brownback campaign, the buzz in Topeka is that Brownback will soon name his running mate for lt. governor. Word is that strategically, the nominee will be a Johnson County pol and a woman. Some of the names mentioned: Karin Brownlee, Julia Lynn, Charlotte O'Hara, and Leawood Mayor Peggy Dunn. Any word on who his running mate might be or anything to add to the buzz? Leave a comment and start the conversation.
  • There are 6 candidates for the 3rd District Congressional seat at this point (a possible seventh, who hasn't decided yet). Three of those candidates have the potential to make it a race and actually raise money: Nick Jordan, Kevin Yoder, and Patricia Lightner. Jordan and Yoder are taking the fundraising lead. It's anyone's guess as to how this primary race will wrap up, but Steve Rose at the Johnson County Sun has already predicted a Yoder win in the primary and in the general--returning the 3rd District to Republican control after more than 10 years. Watch for Yoder to go head-to-head with Jordan. In the end, Jordan's greatest liability remains his lackluster and disappointing '08 campaign. As the new kid on the blog, Yoder's age, freshness, and experience managing the state's budget will all prove to be assets as well as the deep reservoir of goodwill he has built up among moderates and conservatives alike.
  • Republican precinct committee members in northeast Johnson County have convened to appoint replacements for two state legislative seats in the past four weeks. State Sen. David Wysong's announced retirement created a vacancy in his district, which was filled by Rep. Terrie Huntington (she ran unopposed). Due to the unusual circumstances of this election, Huntington will face election in the fall, the only state senator to do so. The 7th Senate District is the most liberal-leaning district held by Republicans in Johnson County and encompasses the most inner-KC suburbs of Merriam, Fairway, Prairie Village, Mission Hills, Mission Woods, Westwood, Westwood Hills, and Roeland Park. Wysong won with a less-than-impressive 54 percent in '08, and Huntington will have to work hard to keep this seat under Republican control in 2010. Likewise, Huntington vindicated her state rep seat to run for the open state senate seat, and precinct people from the 24th house district chose Dr. Barbara Bollier over former Roeland Park Mayor Steve Petrehn to take Huntington's place. Bollier touted herself as a pro-choice, fiscal conservative who would resist cuts to public education. Petrehn's speech and positions placed him slightly to the left of Bollier, but it seems that Bollier will fit the mold of the district well and is not represent a significant change from Huntington. As state house districts go, this is also one of the most competitive and difficult to hold for a Republican, so Bollier has her work cut out for her.
  • Can a Republican win in Massachusetts? Ted Kennedy's untimely death has created a vacancy for his seat, setting up a special election on Jan. 19th. State Senator Scott Brown (R) is within single digits (9 points) in one poll of Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley. Now, a new Democratic poll actually shows Brown leading Coakly by one point. If Republicans win this seat, Democrats will be stripped of their 60th vote needed to pass Obama's healthcare takeover. These numbers are a wakeup call for Democrats--Republicans in ordinary times should never have a chance at winning a U.S. Senate seat in the bluest of blue states. If Republicans win this seat, this will be the equivalent of a political earthquake heard around the country. Even a single digit loss is extremely significant in this state and signals a growing unrest with the direction taken by the Democratic majority in Washington. Watch these results closely.

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