Friday, December 20, 2019

The KDP Weekly Rundown will be off next week for the holidays.
From all of us at the KDP, Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and happy New Year!

Welcome to the KDP Weekly Rundown – the Kansas Democratic Party’s update of the biggest things going on in the state party and the state government. What are we focused on this week? Kansas Supreme Court appointment, Washington Days scholarship announced, and Wichita aviation impacts!


  • What’s happening?

Gov. Laura Kelly announced Chief Judge Evelyn Wilson of the Shawnee County District Court as the newest justice for the Kansas Supreme Court, filling the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Lee A. Johnson.

Wilson, one of the three individuals recommended by a three-member nominating commission to fill the court opening, must run for retention and a six-year term in the 2020 election. Judicial appointments are not subject to Senate confirmation.

Gov. Laura Kelly: “Judge Wilson has shown the kind of common sense, intellect, and personal skills that define our best jurists. My appointments are based on qualifications. I don’t take into account popularity. I really do take into account whether they are fit to do the job, and it is my sense that Judge Wilson is more than qualified.”

Anti-abortion rights activists and conservative state legislators previously said the selection of Wilson would move them to push for changing how judicial picks are made. Such changes would likely have to be approved by voters through a constitutional amendment. Despite vigorous campaigns by conservative groups in recent years, Kansas voters have never removed a Supreme Court justice.

Gov. Kelly will appoint another justice to the Kansas Supreme Court following Chief Justice Lawton Nuss’ retirement. The title of Chief Justice is granted by seniority.


  • What’s happening?

We have some exciting news: for the first time, the Kansas Democratic Party will offer The Washington Days Scholarship!

This scholarship is open to all Democrats in Kansas who have a financial limitation which prevents them from purchasing a ticket to the 2020 Washington Days banquet and/or luncheon.

Scholarship recipients will receive:

  • One (1) March 7 banquet ticket
  • One (1) March 7 luncheon ticket

Click here to learn more about and apply for the Washington Days Scholarship!

The deadline to apply for a scholarship is Friday, February 14. Scholarships will be awarded on Friday, February 21.

Scholarships are funded through generous individual contributions to the Kansas Democratic Party. Currently, there are a limited number of scholarships available.

To directly support this great program, add a donation to your ticket purchase or just enter a contribution amount in the same form at!


  • What’s happening?

A Friday statement announcing a 2020 production suspension of the deadly crash-plagued Boeing 737 Max is adding uncertainty to what comes next for the Wichita-based assembler. The end-of-week news from Spirit AeroSystems CEO Tom Gentile is a U-turn from the optimistic outlook reportedly given to Gov. Kelly from the aviation head in a Tuesday phone call.

Now, Gentile is cautioning that Boeing’s directive to “stop all 737 MAX deliveries to Boeing effective January 1…will have an adverse impact on Spirit’s business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.”

Following the phone call with Gentile, Kelly suggested the state’s unemployment system could be used to help pay workers continuing to build what is about 70 percent of the 737.

Gov. Kelly: “We’ve done this before, it’s not unusual to go in what we call a shared-work program, for instance, where they remain employees of Spirit, get a reduced paycheck, and we backfill that with unemployment benefits.”

After crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed a total of 346 people, the 737 Max in March was grounded worldwide. The production halt comes as Boeing stands by for instructions from the Federal Aviation Administration, which is conducting an investigation into the accidents.


  • What’s happening?

Have you taken advantage of our holiday promotion for the KDP Online Store? There’s still time! Spend $30 at before the end of the year and get a free KDP sticker two-pack.