Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): Hayden, Toplikar heating up

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hayden, Toplikar heating up

I'm not sure what to think.

Had you asked me two weeks ago who was going to take the race for the 6th District seat on the Johnson County Board of Commissioners, I would've said Calvin Hayden, hands down. My Magic 8 Ball™ was clearly stating, "All signs point to yes" for a Hayden victory.

There appear to be more Hayden signs out -- even in areas that I didn't even know were part of the 6th District. And Hayden has been actively campaigning since the primary election. I've only seen one John Toplikar sign, but I assume there are more signs out down south. Toplikar's website hasn't even been updated. It is devoted to his failed run for county commission chair in 2010.

The quiet story behind the Hayden-Toplikar rematch is the sign-stealing drama from 2008. In '08, Hayden's wife hid in the bushes to videotape Toplikar stealing yard signs near the election office. 

Law enforcement -- Hayden is retired JoCo sheriff's deputy -- threw the book at Toplikar and in the end, Toplikar, the incumbent, lost the election by 42 votes. To this day, I still believe there was a set-up afoot, but Toplikar was a fool for touching another candidate's signs. (Campaign tip: The only time you should ever CONSIDER touching another candidate's sign is if it is on fire and in danger of killing an infant or puppy. Otherwise, hands off.)

Yael Alboulhalkah of the Kansas City Star theorized on Twitter last night that Hayden's narrow victory was the result of the Star's 2008 endorsement. (I'm assuming this was tongue-in-cheek, because seriously, who votes based on a newspaper editorial?)

And since we're on the topic of endorsements, the Star once again is endorsing Hayden for the board of commissioners. This is the kiss of death for conservatives, of which Hayden claims to be. In the race for 3rd District, the Star endorsed Steve Klika over Terry Presta. Klika is a RINO. Presta is not. So, the choice is fairly obvious.

Will the endorsement hurt Hayden's chances at retaining his seat?

I'm not sure. But it does seem the Hayden campaign is a bit shaken in the last two weeks. They're bumping up their campaign efforts in ways that seem a little desperate given what I assumed was going to be an easy victory.

I don't think the campaign's renewed vigor has much to do with the Star's endorsement. However, I've heard the Kansans for Life intends to endorse Toplikar in the race. That's cause for concern. While I personally believe they've shamed themselves, it will be a few years before the voting public recognizes the organization now puts power over principle. Until that occurs, the group's endorsement is worth thousands of votes.

Just ask Frank Denning, who narrowly retained his role as county sheriff, what their endorsement means. In his primary race, KFL endorsed his unknown opponent, Ken Smith. An outspent, unknown Smith fell short of winning that race but just barely. I think KFL's endorsement is one reason Smith came so close.

But I digress -- back to Hayden-Toplikar. I'm glad I don't have to vote in this race. Toplikar is clearly the more conservative of the two. However, he is inaccessible to constituents, and that's a problem.

Update: As anticipated, Kansans for Life has endorsed Toplikar over Hayden. I'm not going to link to their site, because they are no longer a principled organization.

1 comment:

  1. FYI-- Hayden's wife DID NOT video tape him... might want to get your facts straight!! The video was mine. There was NO set up. How could you possibly set up a person in that way. Signs placed in four cities--come on, use a little common sense please. If your set up theory were true, then how would you explain John Toplikar tearing up the signs at ODAC the night before he got caught on video? Check the police reports.... How would you explain Halloween night 2008 when he was spotted in his light blue panel van with a friend in a maroon minivan in Edgerton taking HAYDEN signs. Too bad the book wasn't tossed at him, he would of spent more time on probation and paid a bigger fine than the 227.00.