Susan Wagle

Kansas News Service/File photo

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly has moved a Kansas Statehouse meditation room created by Republicans as a place for prayer and reflection to a less-visible space to create more room for her staff to social distance during the coronavirus pandemic.

The new meditation room is on the northwest side of the building’s basement floor, down an out-of-the-way hall in what used to be a room set aside — but only occasionally used for — shooting videos and television interviews.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle said Thursday that she will not run for the U.S. Senate, citing “personal and political trials” in the last year for her decision.

Wagle announcement also indicated that she would not seek reelection to the Kansas Senate. The filing deadline is Monday.

The decision leaves U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall and former Secretary of State Kris Kobach as the primary candidates for the GOP nomination for the seat.

Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts says he will not run for re-election in 2020, opening the door to a parade of candidates announcing a run or considering jumping into the race to replace him. Multiple Republicans are eyeing the seat, and it could be the first time Democrats have a competitive U.S. Senate primary since the 1990s.

Here’s the rundown of who’s seeking the seat in Washington: 

REPUBLICANS

Bob Hamilton

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

MANHATTAN, Kansas — Five Republicans running for the U.S. Senate debated farm issues in Manhattan on Saturday. They all described themselves as loyalists to President Donald Trump.

Stephen Koranda file photo

TOPEKA — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly's top Republican legislative critic has launched an effort to curb the governor's power in emergencies, impose oversight over the spending of federal aid and force Kelly to provide tax relief to struggling businesses.

TOPEKA, Kansas — A Democrat hasn’t won a U.S. Senate race in Kansas since the early days of the Great Depression.

It took that economic crisis to propel George McGill, riding on Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal coattails, to a win. And he served but a single term.

This year, the country finds itself on the cusp of another economic calamity. The COVID-19 epidemic sent the stock market into convulsions, forced all range of business and campaigning into hibernation and put life in limbo.

Conservative Republicans at the Kansas Statehouse are attempting to block passage of Medicaid expansion until lawmakers send a constitutional amendment on abortion to voters.

The amendment, which would overturn a recent Kansas Supreme Court ruling that declared abortion a right protected by the state’s Bill of Rights, has passed the Senate but remains a handful of votes short in the House.

OLATHE, Kansas — Candidates determined to keep Kansas’ U.S. Senate seats in Republican hands quarreled Saturday over immigration, health care and federal spending, but no topic was more debated than who is the most friendly and in step with President Donald Trump.

In front of a standing-room only crowd at the 2020 Kansas Republican Party convention, U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, former Secretary of State Kris Kobach and state Senate President Susan Wagle argued over which of them was the most conservative and would be Trump’s most loyal foot soldier in the U.S. Senate.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service/File photo

A prosecutor says a commission that screens applicants for the Kansas Supreme Court did not violate the state's open meetings law in choosing three finalists for a vacancy.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett said Thursday that the nominating commission took a final vote during a public meeting in October with a unanimous show of hands. He says other votes by paper ballot to narrow a list of 19 candidates to three for Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly to consider were not binding actions.

Chris Neal for the Kansas News Service

Kansas lawmakers spent years imposing ever tougher restrictions on abortion and then saw the state Supreme Court declare that women hold a right to the procedure.

Now Republicans and abortion opponents appear determined to amend the Kansas Constitution to reverse that ruling.

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