The Kansas Supreme Court might — depending on when — inadvertently weigh in on the Democratic gubernatorial primary election with its decision on the constitutionality of an abortion restriction law.

That law, which prohibits dilation and evacuation abortion procedures, the most-used technique in second- and third-term abortions, essentially will define Kansas abortion law. And, though there will be scraps, and even a potential effort to put an anti-abortion constitutional amendment before voters this year or next, the high court’s ruling may well end the issue save for special interest groups.

How’s this a Democratic gubernatorial issue? Just one contestant for the party’s nomination has an anti-abortion voting record, from more than a decade ago — former State Rep./Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Josh Svaty, who held a House seat as a Democrat from Republican-weighted western Kansas.

While a strong candidate who gives good speeches, his previous anti-abortion votes have sprung to the surface again, and for many Democrats that issue is the bright yellow line that overshadows every other issue — at the primary election level. Whether that is the right issue to virtually abandon a candidate is one Democrats will decide at their primary election.

But there’s more to operating the state than abortion, and that single disqualifier from party support might tilt the race and deny Democrats a candidate who is on board everywhere else and potentially could give the party a state government leader.

While Democrats support choice for women, this is still either an anti-abortion state or one in which abortion is seen as a woman’s decision, which can be broadened to other decisions women make. Or, maybe Republicans, even pro-choice Republicans, will vote for pro-life Republicans (and have in the past) to take the reins of state government for a broad list of other issues ranging from tax policy to highways to school funding and the other 99 percent of what Kansans expect from their government.

Democrats, of course, have several candidates for their party’s nomination for governor, and so far in the relatively collegial battle for the primary election, none has brought up the life issue. Look for that to come from pro-choice organizations within the party, and to be stirred further from anti-abortion partisans who aren’t party-based and will use Svaty’s record to eliminate a potential challenger to their favorite Republicans.

Now, abortion isn’t the only one Democrats have in the past used to sink a candidate in intra-party primary election scraps. House Minority Leader Jim Ward, D-Wichita, has taken an early swing at Sen. Laura Kelly, D-Topeka, for some gun rights votes in her past. At some point, look for that to be used by outside-the-party interests to be targeted, though in her Senate district, she’s apparently weighed the effect of those votes and has been elected to four terms in a district which includes parts of rural Pottawatomie and Wabaunsee counties.

You gotta be elected to represent your district’s and party views.

So, there’s an interesting little issue here: Do parties ditch candidates on one or two issues when they are on board with most of a party’s issues, or do you strain out candidates who have represented the party philosophy on most issues?

Is there a hole in that bright yellow line of party viewpoints, or does a party lose seats in the Legislature or the chance for a governorship for walking outside the line?

Is being elected better than being party-perfect?

We might see.

Syndicated by Hawver News Co. of Topeka, Martin Hawver is publisher of Hawver's Capitol Report.