Archive for Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Brownback easily wins nomination

Incumbent U.S. senator to face as many as four challengers in general election

August 4, 2004


U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback on Tuesday easily turned back a Republican Party primary challenge from Lawrence businessman Arch Naramore.

Robert A. Conroy, of Shawnee, a candidate who did not campaign and said he had no differences with Brownback, defeated Lee Jones, of Lenexa, to win the Democratic Party primary.

The results set up a Nov. 2 general election matchup among Brownback, Conroy, Libertarian Steven Rosile of Wichita and Reform Party candidate George Cook of Mission.

Independent Horace Edwards of Topeka is awaiting a ruling by the Secretary of State's Office to determine whether he submitted enough petition signatures to also be on the fall ballot.

Brownback defeated Naramore 87 percent to 13 percent while Conroy bested Jones 56 percent to 44 percent, with 92 percent of the state's 3,257 precincts reporting.

"Jobs, security and values -- that's what I'm going to push on, and they really are the three major issues," said Brownback, who was first elected to the Senate in 1996 after Bob Dole resigned to campaign as the Republican presidential nominee. Brownback won a full six-year term in 1998 with 65 percent of the vote.

Brownback, with $1.38 million in campaign cash as of June 30, had no difficulty swamping Naramore, who had little political experience and who said he planned to spend no more than $2,000.

Naramore, 52, co-owner of Kansas Key Press, said he ran because he was fed up with Brownback's social conservative agenda, such as the senator's vehement support of a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

"He has a moral-authority agenda that shouldn't be run on the people of Kansas," Naramore said in a pre-election interview.

"Brownback doesn't care about jobs, health care or education. He is more worried about meteorites and people in Sudan," Naramore said, referring to two issues Brownback has worked on -- a possible meteorite strike, and the racial and religious massacres occurring in Sudan.

Jones, the Democratic candidate, echoed Naramore's criticisms of Brownback. Jones said if elected he would work to increase the availability of health care and improve public schools. He opposes the war in Iraq.

Jones lost to Conroy, 76, of Shawnee, a retired railroad engineer, who didn't campaign. Conroy had said he had filed simply because he feared no Democrats would be on the ballot to oppose Brownback, though he said he did not differ with Brownback on the issues.

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