Author

Leroy Towns

Leroy Towns

Leroy Towns worked as a reporter for the Topeka Capital-Journal and the Kansas Harris Newspapers. He served as press secretary to Kansas Governor Robert Bennett and as chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts. He is a professor of the practice emeritus at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, where he taught political reporting and political communication. A graduate of Kansas State University and the George Washington University, he is retired and splits his time between Manhattan, Kansas, and Florida.

OPINION

Changing political parties in Kansas was hard, but it’s easier than being part of the Big Lie

By: - July 4, 2021

Leaving the office of Kansas Gov. Robert Bennett as press secretary four decades ago, I was presented with a handmade poster collage showing a guy with a wheelbarrow and shovel trailing a circus elephant labeled “Kansas GOP.” “Thanks for all your work shoveling shit for the GOP,” the caption read. After decades of work as […]

OPINION

Two reasons Kansas’ beloved Bob Dole could not get elected as a Republican today

By: - May 9, 2021

Return for a moment to those halcyon political years when Republicans actually had a philosophy and when Kansas actually had a U.S. Senator who was concerned about — and worked for — Kansas people. It was a time when a Republican U.S. Senator counted Black citizens as friends and worked to expand their rights. Former […]

OPINION
Gen. Dwight Eisenhower speaks with American paratroopers in England on the evening of June 5, 1944, as they prepare for the Battle of Normandy. Presidential historians assembled by C-SPAN rated Eisenhower 5th in terms of presidential leadership. President Harry Truman ranked 6th. (Library of Congress)

Moran should remember these brave Kansans and vote to convict Trump

By: - February 8, 2021

An open letter to Sen. Jerry Moran: As each generation is called, America’s freedoms and democracy are defended by large actions of heroes and by smaller acts of individual courage. A Senate vote to convict former President Donald Trump for “incitement of insurrection” awaits. You’ve said you will vote against conviction, that “a former president […]

OPINION

Today’s insurrectionists echo the 1980s sound of western Kansas

By: - January 26, 2021

The seditionist attack on the U.S. Capitol will forever be tied to former President Donald Trump’s Big Lie about a stolen election. But the tree of sedition has many branches, and its roots go deep in the fertile prairie of 1980s Kansas. As a congressional staffer, I watched the 1980s radical movement unfold — and […]

OPINION

The latest threat to America comes from within — including Kansas’ elected officials

By: - January 7, 2021

I was in tears. Shown by CNN in live video, the floor of the U.S. Senate was occupied by terrorists in MAGA hats waving Trump flags. Those still outside the Capitol were smashing windows. As the cameras panned the House floor, congressional staffers cowered behind desks and police aimed guns at the door, their obvious […]

OPINION
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Barbara Bollier reported raising $13.5 million in the third quarter for the largest single-quarter fundraising total of any candidate in Kansas history. She is running for the open seat in Kansas against GOP nominee Roger Marshall. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

The 2020 U.S. Senate race in Kansas showed the power of small political donations

By: - December 10, 2020

The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Leroy Towns is a former reporter for the Topeka Capital-Journal and Kansas Harris Newspapers, press secretary to Kansas Gov. Robert Bennett, chief of staff for U.S. […]

OPINION
U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran, Kansas Republicans, joined with former U.S. Sen. Robert Dole to endorse GOP U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall for Roberts' seat in the U.S. Senate. (Submitted/Kansas Reflector)

Silence by U.S. Senators, including those from Kansas, has put our democracy in danger

By: - November 24, 2020

The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Leroy Towns served as chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts until 2003. Fresh off his election victory, one of the U.S. Senate’s incoming members, […]