Foster ends short-lived campaign for GOP chair

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Former congressional hopeful Adrienne Foster’s campaign for chair of the state Republican Party came to a quick end over the weekend.

Foster, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in the 3rd District last year, failed to meet the Saturday deadline for announcing her intentions to run for chair of the state party.

Adrienne Foster

Foster wouldn’t comment about why she decided to withdraw after announcing her intentions to run at an Olathe Republican Party meeting last week.

The former Roeland Park mayor told a group of Republicans on April 5 that she intended to run for the position against Mike Kuckelman, but within 24 hours word was already circulating that she wasn’t running.

“We need really strong leadership,” Foster told the group in a recording of the event.

“Mike Kuckelman’s been doing a great job in his position,” she said. “He’s done a good job.”

“But we need a different type of leadership to help win back the governorship, to win back the 3rd Congessional, to win back state and our local seats,” she said.

“You are the first to know that I am running for the Kansas GOP chair at the end of this month,” she said to a round of applause.

“I know many of you guys are delegates so I will be calling on you.”

She talked about a having “great strategic plan” to implement and the need to grow grass roots support around the state.

She promised to remain engaged regardless of the outcome of the campaign, which will not be happening when the GOP holds its annual state convention next weekend.

Foster couldn’t be reached in the days after her announcement and didn’t return phone calls and text messages.

She answered a call on Tuesday and said she wouldn’t discuss her change of mind.

Kuckelman said in an interview on Monday that he had been told Foster wasn’t running but added that she had not reached out to him.

“My understanding is that party chair is now an uncontested election because no one has notified the party of their intent to run for chair as required by the rules,” he said.

He added that he she had never told him about her plans to run for chair.

“I don’t know what happened,” he said.

Foster’s decision to end her campaign leaves Kuckelman as the only candidate for chairman, running on a slate with  Sue Schlapp for vice chair, Emily Wellman for secretary and Cheryl Reynolds for treasurer.