A prominent Republican running for secretary of state came out swinging Wednesday with concerns about one of his rivals’ candidacies.
Rep. Scott Schwab of Olathe said in a statement that he had concerns about the upcoming 2018 primary race for secretary of state. He pointed to the dual roles of Kelly Arnold, who is both the Kansas Republican Party chairman and a fellow GOP candidate for secretary of state.
In the statement, Schwab said he thought the “Republican Party stood for honesty, ethics and integrity.”
“The Kansas Republican Party Chair running for office while retaining his post as Chairman not only compromises integrity, but is a disservice to the process statewide,” Schwab said in the statement. “The appropriate course of action is to be a candidate or chair of the Party, but not both.”
His statement also includes a note that “KSGOP bylaw number 5 (A)-(C) outlines the Party’s neutral stance on involvement in primary elections.”
Arnold responded Wednesday afternoon.
“I am an unpaid party volunteer elected by my peers and I have served in that job for 5 years now,” Arnold said in an email to The Star. “Quitting has never been my thing. I will not be resigning the seat I was elected for, much like I wouldn’t expect Scott to resign from his leadership position. It is not a new occasion for an elected party officer to run for a contested seat; it merely presents a challenge for Mr. Schwab.”
The two Republicans are among the contenders running for the office held by Kris Kobach, who is running for governor.
Rep. Keith Esau, an Olathe Republican, also said earlier this year he is running for secretary of state.