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Archive for Saturday, May 29, 2004

Agri-businessman seeks Senate seat

Pine’s entry into 3rd District race will force Republican Primary in August

May 29, 2004

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Longtime Lawrence agri-businessman Roger Pine will face frequent candidate Richard Rodewald in the Republican Party primary for the 3rd District seat in the state Senate.

On the Democratic side, Jan Justice of Basehor, who runs a not-for-profit organization that helps poor people, has filed for the seat.

Incumbent Bob Lyon, a Republican from Winchester, has decided not to seek re-election.

The deadline to file for candidacy is June 10. The party primaries are Aug. 3 with the general election Nov. 2.

Pine, 64, who announced his candidacy Friday, is an owner of Pine Family Farms Grass & Grain.

He served on the Lawrence school board from 1976 to 1984. He said one of the main reasons he was running was because of his five grandchildren.

"I'd like to do something to help Kansas be a little better place to grow up in," he said.

Pine said his background in agriculture and business qualified him for the spot.

Rodewald, 68, has run for several offices. In 2000, he ran for another Senate district seat but was defeated by a 3-to-1 margin by then-incumbent Sandy Praeger in the GOP primary.

He also ran unsuccessfully for the Kansas House in 1990 and 1996, and the U.S. Senate in 1992, when he lost to longtime incumbent Bob Dole.

Rodewald said he was a conservative Republican who is retired from General Motors and is now farming and playing the stock market.

"I will not accept any campaign contributions," Rodewald said.

On the Democratic side, Justice, 54, has been campaigning for the seat for more than a year.

She has two master's degrees, is an ordained Methodist minister and grew up a Republican but switched parties because she said the Democratic Party had become the more fiscally conservative party, viewing government spending as an investment in the future.

She runs Community Link in Kansas City, Mo., which helps low-income families by providing job skills and housing.

"I believe the Legislature of the future needs a different set of skills than we have had in the past," she said.

The district includes a portion of Lawrence, north of Sixth Street, plus Baldwin, Eudora, all of Jefferson County and Basehor, Easton, Linwood and Tonganoxie in Leavenworth County.

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