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Archive for Thursday, June 3, 2004

1 Republican, 2 Democrats to challenge Brownback

June 3, 2004

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— U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback has three new opponents in his race for re-election, all long-shot candidates. One is a fellow Republican; the other two, Democrats.

The Republican challenger is Arch Naramore, 52, of Lawrence, co-owner of Kansas Key Press Inc., a direct mail and printing business. The Democrats are Robert Conroy, a 76-year-old retired railroad worker from Shawnee, and Lee Jones, 53, a former lobbyist for the nation's railroads.

On Wednesday, the Secretary of State's Office placed the names of Naramore and Conroy on the Aug. 3 primary ballot after the two men each paid a $1,567 fee and filed the necessary paperwork. Brownback has filed, as has Libertarian Steve Rosile, of Wichita.

Jones is expected to formally announce his candidacy June 10 in Topeka.

Jones, who lives in Lenexa, grew up in Osawatomie. He graduated from Baker University in 1973. His campaign literature indicates that, if elected, he will fight "for safety and fairness for workers and their families." He is active in several children's programs in the Kansas City area.

The senator, through campaign manager Amanda Adkins, declined to comment on the latest developments in his race.

Brownback first won his Senate seat in a special election in 1996, when Bob Dole resigned to run as the Republican presidential nominee. He won a full, six-year term two years later.

He entered the race in a strong position, partly because no Democrat has won a U.S. Senate seat from Kansas since George McGill in 1932. Also, after the first quarter of this year, Brownback had $1.4 million in his campaign fund.

But Brownback's fund-raising is a big issue for Naramore. In reviewing reports filed by Brownback's campaign, Naramore said, he saw too many contributions from individuals and political action committees outside Kansas.

"They're all giving to him, and they can't vote," Naramore said. "It is a Kansas election. Kansans ought to decide."

Democrats thought they had a candidate in January, when Joan Ruff, an attorney and businesswoman from the Johnson County community of Mission Woods, announced she would run. Ruff immediately picked up support from party leaders and Gov. Kathleen Sebelius but dropped out two months later.

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