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Archive for Thursday, August 23, 2001

Treasurer eyes governorship

August 23, 2001

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— State Treasurer Tim Shallenburger is more interested in running for governor than he was several months ago.

He said Wednesday that he might not wait on Congressman Jerry Moran, who represents the 1st District of western and central Kansas, to decide whether to seek the Republican nomination next year.

"I'm actually probably leaning more toward running than I was 90 days ago, but 90 days ago, I was probably leaning against it," Shallenburger said during an interview.

Shallenburger, from Baxter Springs, was elected treasurer in 1998, after serving 12 years in the Kansas House, the last four as its speaker.

The only announced candidate for the GOP nomination is House Speaker Kent Glasscock, of Manhattan.

Moran, from Hays, has said he will announce by Oct. 1 whether he plans to run for governor. Earlier this year, Shallenburger said his decision most likely would depend on Moran's.

"I'm not necessarily going to wait." Shallenburger said Wednesday. "Some of us who are interested can't wait forever."

Also on the list of potential Republican candidates are Congressman Todd Tiahrt, who represents the 4th District in south-central Kansas; Mark Parkinson, of Olathe, the state GOP chairman; and Shawnee County Treasurer Rita Cline.

On the Democratic side, Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Sebelius has named a treasurer for a gubernatorial campaign.

Gov. Bill Graves, a Republican, won re-election in 1998, and the Kansas Constitution prohibits governors from serving more than two consecutive terms.

Tiahrt said he probably will decide whether he'll run by the beginning of next year.

"I think it's a little early to make a decision yet," Tiahrt said. "I'm really focused on being a congressman right now."

Tiahrt also said he has family considerations as well. He and his wife, Vicki, have two teen-age sons and a 20-year-old daughter.

"I haven't really sat down and talked with my wife about it," he said.

Tiahrt has said he is not waiting on Moran, but Parkinson has said he won't run if Moran does.

"I view his candidacy as likely, so I think the most probable scenario is that I'll stay in my private life and continue on as state chairman," Parkinson said. "The only thing that would force Jerry's hand would be if, say, another congressman were to announce he was going to run."

Cline said earlier this month that she would form an exploratory committee, but she told The Topeka Capital-Journal that she no longer views it as necessary. She cited favorable responses from Internet surveys conducted by the newspaper and WIBW-TV.

But she said she isn't ready to make a decision yet.

Cline was the Democratic nominee in the 1998 treasurer's race against Shallenburger, but left that party in February, to protest the first meeting of its Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Caucus.

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