Ex-Kansas GOP chair switches affiliation
TOPEKA, Kan. - The former chairman of the Kansas Republican Party jumped ship in a big way Tuesday, switching his affiliation to Democrat amid speculation that he would become Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' running mate.
Johnson County Elections Commissioner Brian Newby confirmed that Mark Parkinson, the state GOP chairman from 1999 to 2003, came to the office and switched his party affiliation shortly before noon.
Republican House Speaker Doug Mays said he was disgusted by Parkinson's lack of loyalty to the party that made him chairman, but he isn't surprised by the rift.
The Republican Party, which has dominated Kansas politics since statehood, has shifted to the right in recent years and it inevitably will shift back to the left, he said. Instead of defecting to challenge one another, though, Republicans need to find common ground, he said.( read on)