I have been around Kansas politics far too long. I can't believe that I missed the fact that the entire leadership team recently elected by Kansas House Republicans is all-male and all-white. And just in case a little diversity might have crept in, House Republicans also made certain that their leaders were all-rural and all 60 or older.
I did notice the conservative slant, but didn't even think about the bland sameness of it all until the Lawrence Journal World pointed it out and noted that Kansas Democrats were "snickering at the makeup of the House Republican leadership team."
I missed the significance because, well, it's not exactly a new thing for the Republicans leading the House to be all white and all male. However, when I was covering the Legislature I don't remember them all being so close to cashing in their Social Security.
By the way, the GOP members of the Kansas House include females as well as males. I haven't looked up the ages, but I'd be willing to bet the voters let a few young folk take the oath of office. Does anyone know if there are any black Republicans among the group?
The Journal-World notes:
The GOP leadership team includes Speaker Melvin Neufeld, 66, a farmer from Ingalls; Majority Leader Ray Merrick, 67, a business owner from Stilwell; Speaker Pro Tem Don Dahl, 61, retired of the Navy from Hillsboro; and caucus chairman Dick Kelsey, 60, of Goddard. The two youngest members of the team are Majority Whip Rob Olson, 37, of Olathe, and assistant Majority Leader Jene Vickrey, 47, of Louisburg.
Those candidates were elected by the 78-member House Republican caucus Monday. The only woman to run for a leadership job was Lana Gordon, of Topeka, and she was defeated by Vickrey, 59-18, with one not voting....
Meanwhile, the 47-member House Democratic caucus returned all of its previous leaders, which includes three men and two women, and one of those women, Lawrence Democrat Barbara Ballard, is black. In addition, a new member of the House Democratic leadership team is Paul Davis, of Lawrence, who was elected unopposed as policy chairman to replace Nancy Kirk, who retired from the Legislature. Geographically, the Democratic leaders hail from Greensburg, Wichita, Hays, Lawrence and Leavenworth.