Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): Musical Chairs -- Topeka (And D.C. Style??)

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Musical Chairs -- Topeka (And D.C. Style??)

Big announcement coming tonight--Gov. Jeff Colyer will name his number two. 

But a handful of names being tossed around could lead to one of my favorite games: Musical chairs. I don't have any special insider-y knowledge, but I'll share what I'm hearing about where the music might stop.

1. Sen. Rick Billinger -- He's a farmer from the Big First, so almost a unicorn as everyone is looking for an LG who has ties to the Big First. Most would prefer a female, but short of some surgeries and hormone therapies, there aren't too many of those available with the right credentials.

He's from Goodland, where he served on the county commission for a few decades. He served two terms in the Kansas House and is in his first term in the state Senate. To be fair, I've also said he's a Hutton supporter.

If he gets the nod, folks in the 40th Senate District will name his replacement before the end of this session, marking the second statehouse change due to Colyer's ascendency. (The first is Larry Campbell. Campbell was named state budget director and will be replaced by precinct folks in Olathe soon.)

2. Jim McNeice -- He's a member of the Kansas State Board of Education. He checks virtually none of the unicorn boxes. He's male, virtually unknown, and from Wichita. He is a former teacher and principal, so there may be some school lobby excitement at his candidacy. 

I have no idea how state school board members are replaced. If it's anything similar to how local school board members are replaced, the board itself chooses the replacement. In my experience, most boards are really, really bad at this, and I have little hope the state board is any different in that regard.

3. Secretary of Ag Jackie McClaskey--she ticks all the right boxes. Ag background, ovaries, first district, but rumor has it she wasn't interested in the position. Still, Hawver says she's getting the nod. 

If she does, it will be interesting to see who replaces her as the head of Ag. There are a lot of farmer types in the statehouse. 

4. Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins -- This makes ABSOLUTELY no sense to me at all. BUT, her name has come up a few times now. She would've had a clean shot at the Governorship, but she chose not to run. However, LG is a part-time gig, and her resignation from Congress would spark a special election in the 2nd. There are a few reasons some Establishment-types might see that as beneficial. A Republican incumbent would have an easier shot at retaining the seat come November, and precinct people in the 2nd--NOT the primary electorate--would choose the Republican candidate for a special election. That person would then be the frontrunner in the August primary. I *do* think Establishment-types are leery of the choices right now. There are a bunch of candidates in the Republican race, and to date, none have raised nearly the amount of cash Paul Davis has. 

Any of the above would spark a fun game of musical chairs, because replacement candidates for the jobs they're all in likely come from the Kansas Legislature, sparking additional openings. This could be fun!

1 comment:

  1. The precinct people do not choose the Republican candidate in a special election. The (2nd) District Party committee does, just like what happened in the 4th District last year. These are the Chair and Vice Chairs of each county in the district plus extra members elected from larger counties based on Republican voters.