Archive for Thursday, May 7, 1998

CAMPAIGN

May 7, 1998

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Republican Party posts are being reshuffled with state GOP Chairman David Miller's entry into the race for governor.

David Miller, whose resignation as Republican state chairman is effective today, is starting to form a campaign staff as he seeks the GOP nomination for governor.

Miller, a conservative who will face moderate Republican Gov. Bill Graves, was on the second leg of his announcement tour Wednesday, visiting several cities in western and central Kansas.

There has been some speculation that Steve Abrams, a state Board of Education member who is also running for governor, might pull out of the race to run instead for GOP state party chairman.

``Some people have been calling me about that in the last 24 hours,'' said Abrams, an Arkansas City veterinarian. ``To be quite honest, I haven't really considered it before now. I'm still in the race (for governor) right now.''

However, Abrams said it is doubtful that both he and Miller will challenge Graves in the Aug. 4 GOP primary.

``Common sense says if we're both in it, it would split the base,'' Abrams said.

Abrams said he was weighing his options, including joining Miller's ticket as his running mate for lieutenant governor.

Jeff Wagaman, Graves' campaign manager, said he wasn't surprised that Abrams was considering the GOP state chairmanship or a spot on Miller's ticket.

``We've heard that David Miller is trying to cut some sort of deal to keep Steve out of the race,'' Wagaman said.

Miller will be replaced as state party chairman, at least temporarily, by Kate Cardy of Benton, who is currently state vice chairman, said Kim Van Meteren, state GOP executive director.

Cardy will serve as chairman until a special meeting of the state GOP committee, which has about 140 people, is called to elect a new chairman.

Van Meteren said the date of the state committee meeting hasn't been set, but it will be in about two weeks in Topeka.

Van Meteren confirmed that he will leave his party post to become Miller's campaign chairman.

Van Meteren, a 29-year-old Chanute native, said he would continue in his current position in the state party through Friday, then join the campaign full time.

John Potter, who was administrative aide to House Speaker Tim Shallenburger, has been hired as political director for the party.

Potter will become the party's executive director, at least on a temporary basis, when Van Meteren leaves.

Van Meteren said Miller has not yet set up a main campaign office, but he is looking at several sites in Topeka.

Miller's campaign treasurer is Wayne McDaniel, Lawrence, who was named a few weeks ago when Miller first became interested in running.

-- Dave Toplikar's phone message number is 832-7151. His e-mail address is dtoplikar@ljworld.com.

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