By JOHN HANNA
AP Political Writer
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas appears unlikely to join the growing number of states banning transgender athletes female sports in schools and colleges. A key reason is LGBTQ-rights lobbyist Tom Witt. He is the longtime executive director of Equality Kansas, and he’s worked for 18 years to use uncomfortable publicity to kill conservative proposals, to persuade enough lawmakers to vote no on others when it counts and to head off debates and votes. He plans to retire from lobbying and political consulting by year’s end but will first work to prevent an override of Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto of a bill on transgender athletes. So far, supporters don’t appear to have the votes.