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Kansas GOP chair calls display of Biden effigy at event ‘unfortunate’

School Voucher Fights Kansas
Posted at 4:39 PM, Mar 11, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chairman of the Kansas Republican Party said Monday that a display of a President Biden effigy at a Republican event Friday was “unfortunate."

The Kansas Republican Party and the Johnson County Republican Party hosted an event Friday, March 8, at the Overland Park Convention Center, which drew the ire of former state party chair Mike Kuckelman.

Kuckelman posted his complaint in a Facebook post at Saturday afternoon.

The complaint detailed the event in which event goers were able to beat the effigy with various objects in exchange for a donation to the party.

Kuckelman’s post included photos and video of the effigy.

In a statement Monday afternoon, state GOP Chair Mike Brown — who won election as party chair last year — said the effigy was from an “outside exhibitor in the karate/self-defense space” that had rented a booth at the event.

Brown said “no one from from the KSGOP leadership or staff attended the event or had input on the exhibitors.”

In his social media post, Kuckelman called on Brown and Johnson County Republican Party Chair Maria Holiday to resign.

“Please join me in condemning last night’s baseball bat beating of the effigy of President Biden, and join me in calling for resignations of Mike Brown and Maria Holiday,” Kuckelman said. “We are Republicans, and we are better than this.”

While Brown didn’t specifically address Kuckelman’s call for him to resign, he did lament “internal fighting and false narratives within the Republican Party.”

“It’s unfortunate the events took place, and even more so the former state party member created a false narrative in order to spew rhetoric and capitalize on continued attempts to divid the party,” Brown wrote.

Earlier Monday, Kansas Democratic Party Chair Jeanna Repass released a statement that, “no matter how someone votes, they deserve to be treated with respect.”

“Regardless of political party, there is absolutely no excuse for encouraging or condoning violence of any kind - on a president, a political opponent, a neighbor, or anyone,” Repeass said in the statement. “This sort of extreme behavior is the result of increasingly violent political rhetoric that has gone unchecked over the last several years in our country.”

“As Kansans and Americans, we need to work together to solve the issues we face - not sow hatred, violence, division and fear,” Repeass added.