Former transportation secretary mounts campaign against Brownback

? Former Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Horace Edwards is mounting an independent campaign against U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan.

Edwards served as transportation secretary under former Gov. Mike Hayden, a Republican, and was instrumental in pushing forward the state’s first comprehensive transportation program.

The reason for Edwards’ challenge: He is upset with the direction of the federal government and polarization of the country, which Edwards said is being fed by politicians.

If elected, the 79 year old from Topeka said he would work work to re-establish Congress as an equal branch of the federal government. He said Brownback should be replaced by someone “who distinguishes between patriotism and morality in public office, versus lock-step loyalty to political and religious tribes.”

To get on the November ballot, Edwards must file a petition with the secretary of state’s office by noon Aug. 2, with the signatures of 5,000 registered voters.

He said he faces an uphill campaign, but looks forward to debating issues with Brownback and is confident that he can win.

“Simply giving Kansans an opportunity to draw the contrast between what I’d like to talk about what needs to be done, and what needs to be emphasized, I think there might be the surprise of surprises,” Edwards said.

He is winding down ownership of his engineering consulting firm.