Brown narrowly wins GOP chair

Kansas Republicans late this afternoon elected Mike Brown, Overland Park, as chair of the Kansas Republican Party over longtime party worker and official Helen Van Etten, Topeka.

Vote was 90 to 88 for Brown, closest vote for a party leader in recent memory.

The Brown victory brought his entire team to run the party which he wants to focus on winning every office in the state from retaking the governorship and 3rd District Congress to county, city and school districts. He said, “We can’t continue doing the same thing over and over again. We’ve got to send the blue officials packing.”

The election was the highlight of the Kansas Republican Party Convention in Topeka this weekend. Outgoing party chair Mike Kuckelman announced the vote, handed the microphone to Brown and walked off the stage. Kuckelman had not yet reached the door when Brown said his first business would be to get keys to the party’s offices.

Brown is a former Johnson County commissioner. He ran in last year’s GOP primary for secretary of state, supporting election conspiracy theories and calling for the elimination of ballot drop boxes, and was defeated by incumbent Scott Schwab.

Van Etten served as the Kansas national GOP committeewoman from 2008 to 2020.

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