Kansas Democratic Party

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Kansas Democratic Party
Chairperson John Gibson
Senate leader Anthony Hensley
House leader Jim Ward
Founded 1857
Headquarters Topeka, KS
Ideology Liberalism
Social liberalism
National affiliation Democratic Party
Colors Blue
Seats in the Upper House
9 / 40
Seats in the Lower House
40 / 125

The Kansas Democratic Party is the affiliate of the Democratic Party in the state of Kansas. The chair of the Kansas Democratic Party is John Gibson.


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-staters 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. In 2016, Kansas Democrats elected 14 new Democrats to the legislature.

Washington Days[edit]

Since 1895 the Kansas Democratic Party has hosted the annual Washington Days convention 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 Bernie Sanders, 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[edit]

Members of U.S. Congress[edit]

  • None

The last Democrat to represent the state in Congress was Dennis Moore of Lenexa, who served as the representative for the 3rd District from 1999 until 2011. He did not seek re-election in 2010 and was subsequently replaced by Republican Kevin Yoder.

Members of U.S. Senate[edit]

  • None

George McGill, who served from 1930 until 1939, was the last Democrat to serve as a United States Senator from Kansas; the state has since exclusively been represented by Republicans in that body, representing the longest losing streak by either party in any of the fifty states.

Statewide offices[edit]

State Senators[edit]

State Representatives[edit]


Party chairman[edit]

Prominent past party officials[edit]

See also[edit]


  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] Archived 2011-12-25 at the Wayback Machine. "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. Retrieved 2007-03-10. 
  4. ^ Wickham, DeWayne (2006-06-05). ""Kansas Political Shifts Sign Of Things To Come?," USA Today" (English). Retrieved 2007-03-10. 
  5. ^ ""Kansas Republicans Evolve -- Into Democrats," Salon" (English). Retrieved 2007-03-10. 
  6. ^ ""Clinton To Speak," Wichita Eagle" (English). Retrieved 2007-03-10. [dead link]
  7. ^ Johnathan Shorman (2017-02-25). "Amid Sanders visit Kansas Democrats seek next generation". cjonline.com. Retrieved 2017-02-25. 

External links[edit]