Ex-legislator targeted in schism
Division in the ranks of the local Republican Party could mean a longstanding precinct chairman gets replaced in the Aug. 2 election.
Marion attorney Bob Brookens, who formerly served in the state House of Representatives and now is south Marion committeman, is being challenged by Jeremy Ensey, chief executive of St. Luke Hospital.
Ensey said party members approached him about running before he agreed to do so.
“I’ve been sitting on the sidelines and decided that if I wanted to have more of a voice, I needed to be more involved,” Ensey said.
He said he wanted to bring awareness of topics, encourage people to get out and vote, and bring more enthusiasm to the Republican Party.
Asked whether he saw the Republican Party as moving further to the right, Ensey said he saw it moving toward the left and leaving traditional Republicans behind.
“It appears the Republican Party is moving more to the left; for example social issues, government size and spending,” Ensey said. “However, there are Republicans who still have ‘conservative’ values and beliefs, and as the social pendulum has swung further left, there is a growing gap between the two. So as some Republicans stay where they are, that may give the appearance of them moving further to the right.”
Brookens countered: “I’m the same person who was state representative for four years. I haven’t changed. I still think good government is important.”
Asked how many county Republicans were active in a pro-Donald Trump “patriots” group, Ensey said he wasn’t sure.
“Rose Davidson has done a tremendous job of running the patriots meeting on Sundays at the Marion County Lake and bringing in speakers and having the Republican forum last Wednesday night,” Ensey said. “We were able to hear from both District 9 Kansas State Board of Education candidates as well as both candidates running for the 70th House District.”
Last modified July 13, 2022