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Archive for Sunday, July 28, 2002

s race picks up pace as election nears

July 28, 2002

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With less than two weeks left until the Aug. 6 primary, the four Republicans running for governor are starting to mix it up. Here's a sampling of some recent exchanges from the campaign trail as the GOP candidates try to get the upper hand. The winner of the primary will face Democrat Kathleen Sebelius in the November general election.

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During a radio forum from Topeka, two of the Republican gubernatorial candidates tried to outdo each other on who hailed from the smallest town.

Dave Kerr started it by saying he was the only candidate with a rural background.

But Tim Shallenburger didn't back down, noting his hometown of Baxter Springs in southeast Kansas has about 4,100 people.

After the forum, Kerr said his hometown of Coats, population about 150, was so small his family would go to towns the size of Baxter Springs to do their Christmas shopping.

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Kent Glasscock, the lieutenant governor running mate to Bob Knight, took his eyes off Kansas' problems momentarily to do a little Missouri bashing.

At a candidates' forum, Glasscock said Interstate 70 in Missouri "is in the process of turning into a gravel road."

The moral was that Kansas has good roads, one of several factors businesses take into account when deciding where to locate.

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Bob Knight wound up a radio forum by criticizing Kerr, president of the Senate, and Shallenburger, former House speaker, for creating the budget mess in Topeka. "Why would people look to the people who gave us the problem to solve the problem?" Knight asked.

His opposition was quick to remind reporters of who Knight's running mate is  current House Speaker Kent Glasscock.

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Speaking to residents at a retirement community, Dave Kerr told them how the Legislature adopted a bill that would restrict telemarketers in calling customers. He even handed out sign-up sheets to get on the no-call list. Kerr failed to mention that although Gov. Bill Graves signed the bill into law July 1, the no-call list has not been activated and may not be until October.

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Asked how their management styles would differ from current Republican Gov. Bill Graves, the candidates were quick to answer.

Dan Bloom said the governor's office lacked leadership; Dave Kerr said he would be a more hands-on governor and more involved with the Legislature; Tim Shallenburger said he would talk more with everyday Kansans; and Knight said he would not be a "caretaker." Knight added that if Kansas was looking for a governor to tend to ceremonies, "I'm not the guy."

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