Topeka As Republicans jockey for position to run for governor in 2006, Democratic incumbent Kathleen Sebelius fends off campaign questions by saying it's too early to talk about the election.
If that's the case, Republicans ask, then why was Sebelius quoted as saying she is running for re-election on the Web site of EMILY's List, an influential political action committee dedicated to helping elect Democratic women who support abortion rights?
"I think it shows that she holds national, pro-choice activists in higher regard than the people she was elected to represent," said Derrick Sontag, executive director of the Kansas Republican Party.
But hold on. When asked about her re-election announcement, Sebelius' office says she was misquoted.
Nicole Corcoran, a spokeswoman for Sebelius, said the governor, elected to a first term in 2002, fully expects to run for re-election but has made no announcement.
"She is as focused as ever on the challenges of growing our economy, strengthening our public schools, and keeping Kansas safe and secure," Corcoran said.
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- EMILY's List
On the EMILY's List Web site, Sebelius is featured as a candidate worthy of support.
In her profile, Sebelius says, "I'm running for re-election because I'm a committed Kansan with the right combination of leadership and experience to make Kansas a progressive, 21st century state, with good jobs, excellent schools, affordable health care and a streamlined government."
Corcoran said the re-election comment was inaccurate. She called EMILY's List to change it, and they did, deleting the start of the sentence "I'm running for re-election because ... "
Corcoran stated: "They quoted the governor accurately about her desire to serve Kansas, but it was not in the context of re-election. That was the only part that was not accurate."
Ramona Oliver, communications director for EMILY's List, agreed with Corcoran, saying the quote "was a little mistaken literary license - our brains are always in election mode, even if the women we are talking about aren't."
"It was wholly a mistake on our part, but easily fixed when it was brought to my attention," Oliver said.
She said the candidate profiles on the Web site were developed from a combination of questionnaires, interviews and media sources.
But Sontag, the Kansas Republican official, said Sebelius was clearly running for a second term. "It sounds to me like she already made and announced the decision that she's running for re-election. The least she could've done is let Kansans know about it first," he said.
Corcoran said she didn't know how much money has been raised for Sebelius through EMILY's List. The next campaign finance report is due Jan. 10. In Sebelius' last report for 2004, she had $150,214 on hand.