The Buzz

Kelly makes first White House trip as Kansas gov; Parson joins Trump advisory group

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, left, and Missouri Gov. Mike Parson
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, left, and Missouri Gov. Mike Parson Associated Press file photos

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly will meet with federal officials and dine at the White House this weekend during her first trip to Washington as governor.

The Kansas Democrat and Missouri Gov. Mike Parson are both in D.C. for a conference of the National Governors Association (NGA), which runs Friday through Monday.

Kelly skipped a December White House meeting for newly elected governors, saying she was too busy setting up her administration. The move was criticized by Kansas Republicans.

But this weekend Kelly will participate in meetings with Trump’s administration officials, followed by the Sunday dinner.

The NGA’s conference includes panels on Medicaid expansion and child welfare, two of Kelly’s top priorities.

“Her main goal is to learn from other governors and find out what’s working or not working in other states,” Kelly spokeswoman Ashley All said in an email.

Parson, a Republican, has made multiple trips to the White House since becoming Missouri governor in June of last year. He regularly greeted the president during his frequent campaign trips to the state in 2018.

He was named Thursday to Trump’s Council of Governors, a bipartisan group of 10 governors established in 2010 to coordinate between state and federal leaders on national security and disaster response.

Former Missouri Govs. Eric Greitens and Jay Nixon both previously served on the council.

“We look forward to finding solutions to better protect our nation from threats around the globe and to ensure effective response to natural disasters and emergencies at home,” Parson said in a statement Friday morning.

Bryan Lowry covers Kansas and Missouri politics as Washington correspondent for The Kansas City Star. He previously served as Kansas statehouse correspondent for The Wichita Eagle and as The Star’s lead political reporter. Lowry contributed to The Star’s investigation into government secrecy that was a finalist for The Pulitzer Prize.

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