Kansas GOP Cuts Ties With Michael Capps After Child Abuse Accusations Surface

Aug 31, 2018

The Kansas Republican Party is cutting ties with state Rep. Michael Capps of Wichita after it was revealed that Capps was found guilty of child abuse last year.

A letter from the party released Friday said it asked Capps earlier in the week to withdraw from the race to keep his seat representing House District 85. The district covers parts of east Wichita.

"Unfortunately, he has chosen to remain a candidate," the letter said. "Mr. Capps has been made aware that his decision to stay in the race is not supported by the Kansas Republican Party."

The Kansas Department for Children and Families found Capps guilty of child abuse but the state overturned the decision for technical reasons, as first reported by KAKE.

According to the Secretary of State's office, there is no mechanism to stop the Republican label from appearing next to Capps' name on the November ballot. The deadline for withdrawing from the race is Saturday, but that has to be the candidate's decision.

A withdrawal would also likely not be justified. Candidates leaving a race are limited to situations including illness and leaving the state.

Capps said in an email that the accusations of child abuse "are categorically false and untrue" and that they were made in retaliation for notifying DCF that a foster parent let a registered sex offender near foster children.

"They (DCF) value protecting convicted sexual predators over those in the system that are falsely accused every day, such as me," Capps said in the email. "I will continue my fight for Kansas Children."

Capps was appointed to the vacant Kansas House seat in July when Chuck Weber resigned. Capps' November opponent is Democrat Monica Marks.

She had protested Capps' spot on the ballot earlier this year, saying he didn't live in the district. Her complaint was dismissed by the state's Objections Board.

Stephan Bisaha reports on education for KMUW in Wichita and the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KMUW, Kansas Public Radio, KCUR and High Plains Public Radio covering health, education and politics. Follow him on Twitter @SteveBisaha.

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