Mr. McCarthy, who plans to continue to support Mr. Watkins’s re-election effort, said on Friday that he had not pressured Mr. Watkins to give up his committee posts. “It’s a serious charge and it’s a personal matter,” Mr. McCarthy told reporters. “I accept his decision to step aside from his committees. That was his decision.”
The district attorney of Shawnee County, Mike Kagay, charged Mr. Watkins with three felonies: interference with law enforcement by providing false information, voting without being qualified and unlawful advance voting. Mr. Watkins was also charged with failing to notify the state motor vehicle agency of a change of address, a misdemeanor.
Mr. Watkins changed his voter registration address to a UPS store last year before voting in a City Council race that was decided by 13 votes, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported. He said this week that he had accidentally put his mailing address on his voter registration form.
On Friday, the Cook Political Report changed its ratings for Mr. Watkins’ race (and 19 others) to favor Democrats; his race is now considered “lean Republican” rather than “likely Republican.”
The Democratic convention is shrinking — and rebranding.
Democrats’ original plans for their 2020 convention in Milwaukee called for a crowd of more than 50,000 delegates, journalists, party officials and V.I.P.s. But as the coronavirus spread this spring and the convention was pushed back to August, the number dwindled.
First to 5,000 attendees. Then, a mere 1,000.
Now, less than a month before the party is set to gather, officials are expecting the quadrennial event to include as few as 300 people, Reid J. Epstein and Lisa Lerer report. That number includes not only attendees but also members of the news media, security personnel, medical consultants and party workers.
Every aspect of the four-day convention, scheduled to begin Aug. 17, has been scaled back. A program of five to six hours of daily speeches, engineered to draw heavy television coverage for Mr. Biden and his vice-presidential nominee, will be cut down closer to three hours each night. Much of the program is likely to be pretaped videos, according to people familiar with the planning.