A Dreary Day for Democracy in Kansas

Today is primary election day here in Kansas, and for the first time we’re not looking forward. We’ll show up at our polling place, but more to keep our perfect record intact that because of any enthusiasm for any of the candidates.
The big deal is the race for the Republican nomination for a rare vacated Senate seat, and it’s been an orgy of mud-slinging. The two main contenders are former Kansas Secretary of Kris Kobach and former doctor and current First District congressman, although businessman Bob Hamilton’s well-funded campaign still has a long shot. All three are pro-gun, pro-life, anti-immigrant and pro-Trump, not necessarily in that order, so they only way they can distinguish themselves is by attacking the others.
Most of the accusations that have been hurled are true. Kobach’s anti-immigration zealotry has led to accusations of racism, and it turns out his longtime friend and campaign advisor has been donating to explicitly white nationalist causes and posting some very nasty things on white power sites. Marshall did indeed once try to run a a neighbor over in his pickup trucks, and did indeed get off virtually scot-free with help from political cronies. We’ve forgotten what Hamilton was accused of, but vaguely recall there was something to it.
Fortunately, there is a fourth option, although most Republicans won’t know that until they look at the ballot, as he has little name recognition and small amount of campaign money and left out of the mud-fight. He’s David Lindstrom, a former defensive end for the Kansas City Chiefs who into business an became a Johnson County commissioner after hanging up his cleats. His campaign has stressed such pre-Trump Republican issues as balanced budgets and a sound agricultural policy. He’ll definitely get our vote.
We don’t much like our incumbent Fourth District Congressman Ron Estes, and will vote for any quixotic kook whose name might appear on the ballot. If there isn’t one, we’ll write in the name of our friend Bob Weeks, a stalwart fellow Never Trumper.
Still, we’ll rouse our limited and energy and our civic duty.

— Bud Norman

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