On Jan. 6, Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran voted to certify the presidential election results in a Senate chamber that had just been ransacked by a violent mob hunting forpoliticians perceived as disloyal to President Donald Trump.
Moran had defended Trump’s right to fight the outcome in court. But ultimately, he said, he was bound by the Constitution.
That wasn’t enough for the Republicans of Clay County.
A resolution of censure, posted by the Clay County Republican Party to Facebook on Feb. 5, said Moran had caused “great harm” to the citizens of the county, to Kansas, and to the United States by not objecting to electoral votes from several key states won by President Joe Biden. The party said the resolution passed the county’s central committee with “overwhelming support” but didn’t provide a vote count.
He “violated the trust of voters, failed to faithfully represent a very large majority of Kansas voters and neglected his duty” to represent the will of those who elected him, the document said. A Moran spokesman declined to comment.
“I think if Donald Trump ran again tomorrow and we didn’t have Dominion Voting machines, he would win in a landslide. I really think that,” said party chair Vonda Wiedmer, alluding to the debunked conspiracy theory that the company’s machines were somehow used to rig the election.
Trump is out of office after a chaotic term that produced two of the four presidential impeachments in history and an explosion of violence that shocked the nation. He has left behind a Republican Party remade in his image and a national political atmosphere more toxic than ever.
His influence also reaches deep into the foundations Kansas and Missouri Republicanism in ways that could persist for many years. Instate and local parties, the former president’s repeated falsehoods about the election and flirtation with conspiracy theories have found a receptive audience among some rank-and-file and leadership. Some who have attempted to challenge the discredited narrative have been marginalized or threatened.
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