Conservative Lawmakers Ousted in Kansas Primary Election
GOP primary races seen as referendum on Gov. Sam Brownback’s spending prioritiesBy Kris Maher, WSJ
Updated Aug. 3, 2016 10:52 a.m. ET
At least 11 conservative state lawmakers in Kansas, including many allied with Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, were ousted in a primary election Tuesday, in a rebuke of tea party advocates who had pushed through tax cuts that many viewed as endangering public school funding.
Among those who lost their seats were Republican Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce and five other conservative senators who had been allies of the governor. Five conservative House members from the Kansas-city area suburbs in Johnson County, also lost their seats. A spokesman for Sen. Bruce couldn’t immediately be reached to comment.
Kansas U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp also lost his Republican primary on Tuesday night to Roger Marshall, who campaigned on the unusual pledge to work more effectively with House GOP leaders.
Beginning in 2012, amid sharp divisions among GOP lawmakers, the legislature dropped the state’s top income-tax rate by 25% and eliminated a tax on small-business income. The Brownback-supported cuts were intended to jump start Kansas and help it compete with states like Texas, but instead the state’s economy has sputtered by many measures.