The Lenexa Community Center has seen its share of cat shows, arts and crafts sales, reunions, weddings and quinceañeras.
Saturday, for a short while, it served as a political pulpit for Ted Nugent, the lightning-rod conservative former rock star with a knack for crossing lines, and a fundraiser for Republican Kris Kobach.
Nugent told the roughly 175 people that Kobach should be the next governor of Kansas as he lobbed scorn at former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, those trying to limit guns and what he said is the dumbed-down, desouled, unarmed helplessness that comes with mass shootings.
The Democrats are insane, Nugent said, but Kobach is a constitutionalist and a voice of reason.
"Tell everybody you know to vote for this great man," Nugent said.
Nugent, Kobach said earlier, is “the single most well-known defender of the Second Amendment in the United States today, bar none. His endorsement and his coming in is really important to me because I’m a gun guy.”
Across the street from the community center, protesters gathered to denounce Kobach, Kansas' secretary of state.
"His gun shenanigans show that he's really not a thoughtful person," said protester Charity Gourley, 83, of Lenexa. "If he were thoughtful, he would not be flaunting guns like he does when people are being killed. Our people, our children, are being killed by guns everyday. And for him to flaunt guns like this is immoral."
But Kobach appeared to be in his element with Nugent, a few cameras and an audience hungry to see what they would do. People paid anywhere from $25 to $500 to hear the two tell stories about hunting and guns.
Kobach and Nugent denounced hunting limits and gun control, and they raffled away an AR-15 signed by Nugent.
Tom Horton, a 69-year-old retiree from Shawnee and a Kobach supporter, won the gun, which he will get after a background check.
"You get a lot of conservatives like us, the word gets around what Kris wants," Horton said. "That's what we're hoping for. I know he has his enemies, but we're going to hope he goes on and wins. "