Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): Metsker will be challenged

Monday, October 8, 2012

Metsker will be challenged

Johnson County Republican Party Chair Ronnie Metsker will have a challenger at the end of this year. Metsker has served as the chair of the party since 2008. Before that, he was a state representative from 2006 -2008.

Rumor has it, a conservative will challenge Metsker's leadership.

I've praised Metsker in the past. For the most part, he has done a stellar job of making the JCRP headquarters a welcoming place for conservatives and moderates alike. This is no easy task.

That said, I would personally prefer that the county party's leader be more conservative. For the most part, Metsker's role is of little consequence to the everyday man on the street. However, Metsker is charged with filling open precinct committee spots, and those decisions can be critical. When a representative leaves office, the precinct people appoint the replacement. There have been dozens of replacements across the state in the last few years as Gov. Brownback has snapped up sitting legislators for roles in his administration. Metsker has appointed many of the people who appointed Johnson County replacements.

More importantly to the rank and file, Metsker was tasked with making two appointments to the Johnson County Charter Commission in 2011. The charter commission examined the Johnson County Charter and considered putting changes to it in front of voters. Specifically, the Third District Republican Party passed a resolution asking all Republicans on the Charter Commission to support a change from non-partisan county commission elections to partisan elections.

One of Metsker's appointees led the charge against a change to partisan elections. That's right. One of two people appointed by the Republican Party itself voted AGAINST a resolution specifically supported by the party. In fact, she led the charge against moving to partisan elections making the original movement against it and another motion to shut down debate.

Long story short: Nonpartisan elections will continue and those elections favor the more moderate candidates. It was a real slap in the face to movement conservatives, and it can be laid right at the feet of Ronnie Metsker. He flubbed it spectacularly. 

While I appreciate Metsker's role in bringing the party together, I believe a conservative can do the same. I'm anxious to hear just who this challenger is.

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