Guests at Johnson County GOP event punch, kick effigy of President Joe Biden

Attendees at a Johnson County Republican Party event Friday physically attacked an effigy of President Joe Biden, according to photos and video posted to social media, prompting the state party’s former chair to call for the resignation of its current leaders.

Video posted to the right-wing video sharing site Rumble shows several people at Friday’s “Grand Ol’ Party” event punching, kicking and using a bat against a mannequin wearing a Biden mask.

The effigy was part of a county party fundraiser at the Overland Park Convention Center that featured the musician Ted Nugent and former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline.

“This booth was hosted by a Karate school to promote their self defense class,” Maria Holiday, the chairwoman of the Johnson County Republican Party, said in an email.

The images prompted swift condemnation from Republicans and Democrats in Kansas who denounced it as an example of political violence.

Former Kansas GOP chairman Mike Kuckelman called on Holiday as well as Kansas Republican Party Chairman Mike Brown and Johnson County Sheriff Calvin Hayden, who he said attended the event, to resign.

“I’ve been a Republican my entire life and I am disturbed that anyone would think this was acceptable conduct,” Kuckelman said. “As a Republican we were all very upset, disappointed, angry, apple when they did that to President Trump, and we can’t have a double standard.”

Hayden did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the event. Holiday said Kuckelman’s Facebook post on the event was “full of inaccuracies” but did not provide details.

In an email Brown said he was not at the event.

Across the political aisle Kansas Senate Minority Leader Dinah Sykes, a Lenexa Democrat, called on Republicans in the Legislature to publicly condemn the behavior.

“Political violence of any kind is vile and wrong, and we cannot afford to brush it under the rug when others encourage it,” Sykes said. “The focus now has to be on Republican leadership of the Kansas Senate and House.”

“If my colleagues in the Legislature agree that this conduct is shameful and dangerous, they cannot turn a blind eye to this behavior,” she said. “Their silence is consent.”