Describing voters as concerned and frustrated, Kansas Sen. Nancy Kassebaum said Friday that the keys to the presidential election will be the economy and the future.
Interviewed after she spoke at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday for a new Sallie Mae facility in Lawrence, Kassebaum said, "I believe the public is very serious about this election. They are interested, concerned, frustrated."
"The main issue,'' she said, ``is the question of the economy and the question of the future. The candidate that can best address that will win."
The Republican senator also said she hasn't agreed with some of President Bush's vetoes of legislation, but she strongly supports him in the presidential election.
"People are disappointed about President Bush, but they're still not comfortable with Bill Clinton," she said.
KASSEBAUM said that both the Bush and Clinton campaigns have stalled in recent weeks.
"It's important to gain momentum in the last two weeks of the campaign, and I hope President Bush is able to do that," she said.
U.S. Rep. Jan Meyers, an Overland Park Republican, also attended the Sallie Mae ceremony, and said that current polls showing Clinton ahead of Bush can quickly change.
"It looks as if President Bush has a long way to go, but I think we'll just have to wait and see," she said.
Speaking to Sallie Mae employees and guests at Friday's ribbon-cutting, the two lawmakers reviewed the recently completed session of Congress.
"It's not been the best session of Congress,'' Kassebaum said, ``but it's not been without some positive accomplishments."
SOME IMPORTANT legislation was passed this year, a fact that has at times been overshadowed by presidential vetoes.
"In passing the appropriations bills, we did some positive things," Meyers said. Those measures included the reauthorization of higher education funding, the highway bill and a foreign aid package.
Sallie Mae, the Student Loan Marketing Assn., has moved about 140 employees into the new complex at the former All-Star Dairy building, 110 McDonald Dr.
Both Kassebaum and Meyers praised Sallie Mae and the number of jobs it has created since establishing a regional center in Lawrence eight years ago.
The company, with 550 employees, is headquartered at 2000 Bluffs Dr.
It has added 53 new employees this year, the most of any business in Lawrence, said Elaine Nelson, manager of Sallie Mae's local loan processing operations.
The company is leasing about one-third of the space in the 55,000-square-foot office facility on McDonald Drive.