Kansas Democratic Party

Kansas Democratic Party
Senate leader Anthony Hensley
House leader Paul Davis
Headquarters 700 SW Jackson St.
Topeka, KS
Ideology Moderate
National affiliation Democratic Party
Official colors     
Seats in the Upper House
8 / 40
Seats in the Lower House
33 / 125
Politics of the United States
Political parties

The Kansas Democratic Party is the state affiliate political party of the United States Democratic Party headquartered in Topeka, Kansas. The State Party Chairman is Joan Wagnon



Since its founding as a territory, Kansas politics have been largely dominated by the Kansas Republican Party and in 1857 the Kansas Democratic Party was formed in an attempt to curb this trend by writing a constitution which would make Kansas a pro-slavery state. This constitution, which was written in Lecompton, Kansas, was boycotted by many of the free-stater's and seen as illegitimate. Eventually a free-state constitution was drafted in Topeka and was adopted.[1] The Kansas Democratic Party has not been able to send a U.S. Senator to Washington since 1939, a record currently unmatched by any state party in America, Republican or Democratic. Kansas Democrats haven't controlled the Kansas Senate since 1917, the only period in which Democrats have ever held a majority in the upper house, and the Democrats have had only three non-consecutive two-year periods of majority control in the Kansas House of Representatives, the last being in 1991. Since becoming a state there have been 11 Governors from the Democratic Party, 6 of which came after 1961.[2] In the 2000s the Kansas Democratic Party was able to win statewide offices and make gains in the Kansas Legislature by benefiting from tension in the Kansas Republican Party between its conservative and moderate wings.[3][4][5] These gains, however, were erased in the 2010 Kansas elections as the Kansas Democratic Party saw its worst defeat on a ballot since 1954. The Kansas Democratic Party candidates lost every statewide office race (including U.S. Senator), every congressional race, and suffered a loss of 14 members in the state House of Representatives.

Washington Days

Since 1895 the Kansas Democratic Party has hosted the annual Washington Days consisting of one weekend of caucus meetings, dinners, receptions, and ending with an address from a keynote speaker. It is traditionally held in Kansas' capitol Topeka. The keynote speech has historically been a proving ground for future Democratic candidates for President of the United States including William Jennings Bryan, and Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Harry S. Truman, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. [6] Vice Presidents Alben Barkley, Al Gore and Joe Biden have also given keynote speeches at Washington Days.

Current elected officials

Members of Congress

  • None

Statewide offices

  • None


Party officers and executive committee

Prominent past party officials


  1. ^ Stampp, Kenneth M. "America in 1857: A Nation on the Brink". Oxford University Press, 1990. p. 150-154
  2. ^ Office of Secretary of State.[1] "Kansas History", August 1,2011.
  3. ^ Slevin, Peter (2006-10-19). ""Moderates in Kansas Decide They're Not in GOP Anymore," Washington Post" (English). The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/18/AR2006101801679.html. Retrieved 2007-03-10. 
  4. ^ Wickham, DeWayne (2006-06-05). ""Kansas Political Shifts Sign Of Things To Come?," USA Today" (English). http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/columnist/wickham/2006-06-05-kansas-politics_x.htm. Retrieved 2007-03-10. 
  5. ^ ""Kansas Republicans Evolve -- Into Democrats," Salon" (English). http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2006/09/05/sebelius/. Retrieved 2007-03-10. 
  6. ^ ""Clinton To Speak," Wichita Eagle" (English). http://www.kansas.com/mld/kansas/16814019.htm. Retrieved 2007-03-10. [dead link]

See also

External links

Official sites

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