Topeka A candidate for attorney general is bragging about an endorsement from former Atty. Gen. Bob Stephan. A legislator who dropped out of the race is running for a judgeship.
Stephan has endorsed Sen. David Adkins of Leawood, who faces former state Rep. Phill Kline of Shawnee for the Republican nomination. Kline didn't see the endorsement as valuable, and others debated its importance.
Atty. Gen. Carla Stovall, a Republican, is running for governor next year. Many Republicans see the race between Adkins and Kline as a contest between the GOP's moderate and conservative wings.
No Democrats have announced candidacies.
Stephan, a Republican, served as attorney general from 1979 to 1995, and his 16 years were the longest anyone has held the office.
Asked about the importance of the endorsement, Kline said: "Voters are going to focus on the candidates and what they bring to the race."
Lt. Gov. Gary Sherrer, who considers himself a moderate Republican, said such endorsements are more important in a primary, as candidates begin to build their campaigns.
Meanwhile, Rep. Tony Powell, has announced plans to run for district judge in Sedgwick County. Powell announced in October that he wouldn't run for attorney general or seek re-election to the House.
Powell had been considered a potential conservative challenger for Adkins, but in October, he said he was leaving the Legislature and forgoing a race for attorney general because of the stress it would place on his family.
Powell is running for the position held by District Judge David Dewey, who plans to retire when his four-year term expires in January 2003.