Kansas Gop Official Says Chair Blocked Her From House Vote

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Republican Party official in Wichita is accusing her county's GOP chairman of breaking state law by preventing her from voting on filling a Kansas House vacancy.

Precinct Committeewoman Cindy Miles said Segwick County Chairman David Thorne blocked her from voting in the party convention Thursday night to replace the late Republican Rep. Ron Howard. Thorne disputes her account of events, The Wichita Eagle reports.

Their dispute centers on Miles' online comments congratulating a Democrat who finished first in a Wichita City Council primary Tuesday. Miles ran and finished third, and she told the Democrat that she expected him to win the seat. While city races technically are nonpartisan, both parties have become involved.

Thorne said he told Miles at Thursday night's convention that it was inappropriate to support a Democrat and she left when he asked her not to do it. Miles said Thorne prevented her from voting and she plans to file complaints with state officials.

The dispute did not effect the election because the only candidate to replace Howard was Cyndi Howerton, a tax-preparation company manager. Under Kansas law, a party's precinct committee members in the district fill a vacancy between elections.

Howard died last month after a lengthy illness.