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Archive for Friday, January 5, 1996

PRAEGER FILES FOR 2ND TERM

January 5, 1996

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Lawrence's incumbent senator is seeking re-election.

Moderate Republican Sandy Praeger of Lawrence filed Thursday for re-election to a second term in the Kansas Senate.

Praeger's move to plunk down the $105 filing fee at Douglas County Courthouse came unusually early -- the primary election is in August -- to nip scuttlebutt about campaigning for a different job.

Announced retirements of U.S. Sen. Nancy Kassebaum and U.S. Rep. Jan Meyers, Kansas Republicans, led some people to suggest Praeger run for one of the vacancies. That conversation would have intensified during the 1996 legislative session, which begins Monday.

"I've seen what happens when speculation gets going," Praeger said. "It can get in the way of effectiveness."

She experienced that firsthand in 1994 while pondering a race for state insurance commissioner.

Praeger said it was important to keep a "moderate voice" from Douglas County in the state Senate. GOP conservatives control the House. They're expected to seek domination in the Senate this year.

Praeger, 51, is a former Lawrence mayor and one-term member of the Kansas House. In 1992, she gave up the House post and won election to the 2nd District seat vacated by Wint Winter Jr., Lawrence. She pulled 58 percent of the vote against two general election foes.

In October, she resigned as vice president of community affairs at Douglas County Bank to devote more time to politics.

Praeger plans to focus on health care, education and children issues if re-elected. The wife of a physician, Praeger said her top priority was health care.

"It's almost a passion of mine to make sure we don't damage the quality of health care while we try to control costs," the senator said.

Praeger said her accomplishments included maintenance of a strong profile for Kansas University in the Senate. She's a KU education graduate.

In addition, she had a hand in legislation designed to improve state programs for children. She also worked to eliminate policies that forced seniors to move into nursing homes to receive services.

Unlike 1994, she'll likely have company in the primary.

"I'm certainly anticipating it," Praeger said.

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