GOP Moderates in Kansas Endorse Democrat for Governor

Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 08:27 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Some 100 moderate Republicans have turned against Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and endorsed his Democratic challenger Paul Davis, Politico reported.

Old-school moderate Republicans have lost their place in the GOP-controlled Kansas legislature. They blame Brownback, who is a fiscal and social conservative.

Under Brownback, the state has set strict limits on abortion. Davis, however, said he would leave them in place. "We have one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, and I'm not going to seek to change the law," he said, according to Politico.

Davis breaks with Brownback on implementing a planned tax cut saying he prefers to use the money on education.

Brownback describes Davis as a liberal Obama fan. Davis is portraying himself as a moderate Democrat.

Steve Morris is one of the Republicans who have turned against Brownback. The ex-legislator lost his office in a primary challenge financed by Americans for Prosperity, which is supported by the Koch brothers.

Another is Dick Bond, former president of the Kansas Senate. "It's a big step for every one of us," he says "and a major departure from our Republican roots," Politico reported.

In the endorsement posted on the Davis campaign website former GOP lawmaker Wint Winter said: "All of us are proud Republicans. We came together because of our common love of Kansas, our commitment to Kansas families, and our belief in moderate, commonsense leadership."

Winter added, "We are deeply concerned by the direction Sam Brownback is taking Kansas. Today we announce our opposition to his re-election. And to pledge our voices, our energy and our votes to Paul Davis."

To beat back the moderates, Brownback will need to mobilize his conservative and religious base.

The state's sluggish economy is making it hard to run on his record of having cut taxes. Adding to Brownback's troubles is an FBI investigation surrounding his efforts to privatize the state Medicaid program, according to a report in The Topeka Capital-Journal.

Brownback supporter state Rep. Dan Hawkins seems unperturbed about Brownback's re-election prospects. "Our governor has made some people mad," he told Politico.

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