The Kansas Chamber of Commerce raised $163,000 for the effort last year — a significant sum in a less populous state like Kansas — with more than $36,000 coming from Koch Industries Inc., the company led by Charles Koch, a prominent political donor.
So far this year, conservative challengers in Texas have unseated three state House committee chairmen who were accused by tea party adherents of cooperating with Democrats on legislation. A conservative opponent knocked off a moderate state senator in the Colorado primary.
In a key race in Missouri, David Pearce, the chairman of the Senate's Education Committee, faces a Republican primary challenge next month from a conservative opponent who has received $50,000 from a major anti-tax group.
In Kansas, conservatives hope to win enough races to spur the legislature to restrict how labor unions raise campaign money, to remake the state's appellate courts and to enact more conservative social policy. They've been disappointed that the state hasn't moved new public employees into a 401(k)-style pension plan, and there's been no serious consideration of school choice initiatives.
Associated Press writers Chris Blank in Jefferson City, Mo.; John Miller in Boise, Idaho; Jim Vertuno in Austin, Texas, and Kristen Wyatt in Denver contributed to this report.
Follow John Hanna on Twitter at www.twitter.com/apjdhanna
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.