Hungate talks transgender issues, education at GOP state convention


Brian Hayes

Student Body President Paige Hungate asks a question to the candidates during the inaugural Republican gubernatorial debate hosted by the The Kansas Republican Party at the Wichita Hyatt Regency. (Feb. 17, 2018)

Student Body President Paige Hungate spoke against the Kansas Republican Party’s “divisive stance” on transgender interests at the GOP’s annual state convention over the weekend.

Hungate gave a speech to the GOP state committee prior to its vote on a resolution opposing all efforts “to validate transgender identity.”

In her speech, Hungate said the party’s social stances turn some students away from the party. She said the Republican party should not abandon its social stances but instead focus on more pressing issues.

“To me, it is not a pressing issue for us to state that we believe in only two genders,” Hungate said.

Hungate then urged committee members to vote against the resolution, which she said would “polarize the party” to its detriment.

The committee approved the resolution.

Hungate took to Twitter following the approval, saying the resolution is proof that the committee is not focusing on the most important issues.

“This is not the most important issue; it helps nothing other than to polarize,” Hungate’s tweet read.

Hungate also served as a panelist for the GOP gubernatorial debate Saturday evening. The debate featured current Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Kansas Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer, Mark Hutton, and Wink Hartman. She asked each of the candidates how they plan to address the “inconsistency and instability” looming over education funding.