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Kansas chamber cuts ties with US group for endorsing Davids

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Chamber of Commerce has cut ties with its national counterpart over the national group’s support last year for reelecting the only Democrat in the state’s congressional delegation.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s endorsement of Rep. Sharice Davids over Republican challenger Amanda Adkins in their Kansas City-area district prompted the state chamber to not renew its membership in the national group, The Kansas City Star reports.

The national group’s endorsement caught Kansas business leaders by surprise, and Alan Cobb, the state chamber’s president and CEO, said some of the state group’s members were frustrated.

Adkins is a former Kansas Republican Party chair and executive with the healthcare information technology firm Cerner Corp. She served 12 years on the Kansas chamber’s board, and Cerner is a “Cornerstone” member by donating at least $5,000 annually.

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The U.S. Chamber’s endorsement of Davids and other Democrats represented a strategic shift intended to gain favor with Democrats in anticipation that they would maintain their House majority. Davids defeated Adkins by 10 percentage points.

The state chamber does not make endorsements in congressional and U.S. Senate races. In state races, it typically supports Republicans who align with it on tax cuts and deregulation.

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