July 17, 2024

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Democratic Candidate Calls KS Dem Party Controversy ‘Witch Hunt’

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Some Kansas Democrats are trying to ouster the Kansas Democratic Party Secretary Casey Yingling, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported a few weeks ago. Now, a former Democratic candidate for Congress is calling the petition to remove Yingling ‘a witch hunt.’

James Thompson lost to Congressman Ron Estes last April, in a special election to replace Mike Pompeo, who now serves as the CIA director in the Trump administration. In a fundraising email, Thompson said the attacks against Yingling are “increasingly destructive and must be put to an end.”

A petition seeking Yingling’s recall alleges she voted on whether the party should direct $20,000 to the Thompson campaign, despite having ties to a firm, Ad Astra Group, LLC, paid by the campaign. The petition also alleges she used social media to attack the party.

In his email, Thompson wrote he has first-hand experience of the situation.

“I want to say unequivocally that these false attacks on Ms Yingling are motivated entirely by money, egos and a desire for political retribution,” he wrote.

In order to recall Yingling, petitioners need signatures of 35 percent of the executive committee before a vote could take place to have her removed. A two-thirds majority would be required to recall her. The next meeting of Kansas Democrats is set for Sept. 29 and 30 in Wichita.

Yingling recently tweeted she was cut out of a decision over whether to host in-person interviews for hiring a new executive director of the Kansas Democratic Party. However, Chris Reeves, Kansas Democratic National Committeeman, responded via tweet that she was invited to phone interviews but didn’t attend.

On July 27, she tweeted, “The first thing you should ask anyone defending the honor of the @KansasDems from me is if they talked to me first — the answer will be no.”


Thompson came closer than expected in the April special election. He lost by about 7 percent to Republican Ron Estes in a district Trump won a few months earlier by nearly 30 points. In the days leading up to the special election, the Kansas Democratic Party rejected an emergency request for $20,000 for the Thompson campaign. Thompson’s campaign manager, Colin Curtis, complained to media that the state party was sitting on the sidelines in a race the Democrats could win.

Thompson says he will run again in 2018. In his recent email, he called the attacks on Yingling baseless.

“I hereby call for an immediate end to the witch hunt and ask that we all come together as progressives and Democrats to serve our common purpose: defeating the extreme right-wing agenda that has taken over our country,” his email reads.


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