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Archive for Sunday, November 1, 1998

U.S. SENATE RACE PITS A LONGTIME STATE SENATOR AGAINST A HALF-TERM INCUMBENT.

November 1, 1998

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Kansas Sen. Paul Feleciano Jr. has not lost all hope.

But Feleciano, the longest-serving Kansas state senator, said recently that all he could do was pray in this race against U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback.

"It's been a David-and-Goliath race," the 56-year-old Wichita Democrat said, adding that his opponent has raised $2 million compared to his $50,000. "Nobody contributed any money to my campaign."

Come Tuesday, he said, it may not matter that Brownback -- elected in 1996 to fill the post vacated by Bob Dole's retirement -- has lost touch with the issues facing Kansas farmers, veterans and teachers.

But campaign spokesman Bob Murray said Brownback, 42, Topeka, has done exactly what he set out to do: help balance the budget, provide tax relief and introduce legislation to sunset the Internal Revenue Service tax code.

Brownback's resume includes a stint as Kansas Secretary of Agriculture. He also served two years in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In the Senate, Brownback has served on the Commerce, Science and Transportation, Foreign Relations and Governmental Affairs committees.

Feleciano was elected to the Kansas House in 1972 and to the state Senate in 1976. He was chosen minority whip and later elected assistant Democratic leader.

His committee duties include: Ways and Means, Arts and Cultural Resources and Financial Institutions & Insurance, where he is the ranking minority member.

Feleciano lost the 1990 race for state insurance commissioner.

Also running for the U.S. Senate seat are Alvin Bauman, the Reform Party candidate, and Thomas Oyler, the Libertarian Party candidate.

-- Matt Gowen's phone message number is 832-7222. His e-mail address is mgowen@ljworld.com.

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