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Archive for Friday, September 27, 2002

Farm Bureau won’t take sides in governor’s race

September 27, 2002

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— Saying neither candidate was its clear favorite, the 42,000-member Kansas Farm Bureau has declined to endorse either Republican Tim Shallenburger or Democrat Kathleen Sebelius for governor.

The neutral stance is a break from tradition for Kansas' biggest agricultural group, which has regularly backed Republicans in statewide races since forming a political committee in 1993.

But this year's gubernatorial contest is different, Farm Bureau members said Wednesday in announcing the decision.

"At this point in time, we're not in a position to favor one over the other at all," said Roger Griffin, a political committee member from Lyons. "We think we can work with either one."

The Farm Bureau issues its endorsements after gathering opinions from groups in all 105 counties, which weigh candidates' positions not only on agriculture policy but on such issues as education and taxes.

The Shallenburger camp was disappointed.

"We certainly had hoped that we would have received the endorsement," said Shallenburger spokesman Bob Murray.

In the Sebelius campaign, "We're excited about it, without a doubt," spokesman Jeremy Anderson said.

Only one Democrat in a statewide or congressional race U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore, of the 3rd District has been endorsed by the Farm Bureau this year.

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