Civil war has been declared among the ranks of college Republicans across the state. On Tuesday evening, a conference call among the state’s seven college Republican chapters was organized. During the call, five college chapters, PSU, Wichita State, Benedictine, Baker and K-State, urged the remaining three chapters of the Kansas College Republican Federation, KU, FHSU and Washburn, to through their support behind Rep. Todd Tiahrt. The four colleges making the push had already declared their backing of Tiahrt but Federation bylaws don’t allow individual chapters to endorse a candidate- the Federation as a whole has to make the endorsement. Therein lies the issue.
The college ruffled some feathers among those not supporting the endorsement.
According to a press release issued by the FHSU college Republicans, Harrison Hems, President of the Kansas University College Republicans, said “I don’t agree with groups (of any kind) as a whole endorsing primary candidates. I think candidates should be endorsed by individuals to stay away from any problems that could arise. I especially think it is very irresponsible for the Federation of Kansas College Republicans to endorse a candidate because they represent all college republicans throughout the state. What they are doing is silencing the voice of the supporters of Jerry Moran and dividing the party, which is the one thing we should stay away from if we are going to win big in 2010.”
It seems that the groups were simply “playing politics” as the 4-3 vote meant the Federation would endorse Tiahrt.
Despite the three colleges best efforts, other College Republican chapters chose to abandon the best interests of the party. Jacob Kessler, President of Fort Hays State University College Republicans, said this. “It deeply saddens me to see the Federation make such a drastic mistake. College Republican groups are here to be facilitators of information during the primary season. We are not here to play to our own personal biases and use our positions of power to gain favor from the different campaigns.”
It seems that all is not fair in love, war and politics.