Archive for Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Barnett wins GOP bid to take on Sebelius

August 2, 2006


— State Sen. Jim Barnett outdistanced a crowded primary field Tuesday to win the right to carry the Republican Party banner against Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, in the Nov. 7 general election.

"We have felt very positive about the entire race," said Barnett, a physician from Emporia, after it became apparent he would win the primary. "We will bring real leadership to this state."

When asked how he would battle Sebelius and her $2.1 million campaign war chest, he said, "She will need every penny of that against the Republican Party."

Republican Party Chairman Tim Shallenburger called for the often fractious GOP to stand behind its candidates, saying, "If we can't unite, we can't win."

"Beat Dennis Moore and Kathleen Sebelius, that is our goal tonight," Shallenburger told a crowd of several hundred Republicans at the Sheraton Hotel. Moore represents the 3rd Congressional District, which includes east Lawrence and east Douglas County.

With 82 percent of the precincts counted in the GOP gubernatorial race, Barnett led a seven-man field with 36 percent of the vote.

His closest challenger was Ken Canfield, of Overland Park, a political newcomer and founder of a center that advocates better fathering.

Jim Barnett gives his mother, Jean, a hug while celebrating his primary victory in Overland Park. Barnett won the GOP gubernatorial primary and will face Gov. Kathleen Sebelius in November.

Jim Barnett gives his mother, Jean, a hug while celebrating his primary victory in Overland Park. Barnett won the GOP gubernatorial primary and will face Gov. Kathleen Sebelius in November.

Canfield had 27 percent of the vote, while former House Speaker Robin Jennison, of Healy, had 22 percent.

The rest of the candidates were in single digits with Tim Pickell at 6 percent, Rex Crowell, 4 percent, Dennis Hawver, 3 percent, and Richard Rodewald, 2 percent.

During the campaign, Barnett said if elected he would cut taxes, change the way the Kansas Supreme Court is elected and make English the official state language.

On Tuesday, he also said he would offer a new school finance plan.

"What I will do is offer a plan for school funding that will likely be a multiyear plan : that will give adequate funding to schools but also allow us to do what we have to in this state to cut taxes and grow this economy," he said.

Sebelius has said she will veto any plan to scale back the current three-year, $466 million school funding bill.

Jennison said he was confident the party could unite behind Barnett, noting that the Republican gubernatorial candidates had mostly focused on the issues instead of making personal attacks.

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"It's not been a tough primary from the standpoint of beating each other up. There've been a few spats," Jennison said.

The Kansas Republican Party dominates the state political landscape, but the GOP gubernatorial primary drew little interest.

That was mostly because major Republican contenders decided to not challenge Sebelius, a formidable vote-getter with a massive campaign treasury.

One by one, Republicans such as U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran and Atty. Gen. Phill Kline announced they would not seek the governorship this year. That left the field open to lesser-known candidates.

Barnett, Canfield and Jennison were viewed as the front-runners, but none had high name recognition.

Barnett raised nearly $520,000 for the campaign through late July, including $135,000 of his own money. Canfield, a political newcomer, raised nearly $200,000 and Jennison had $160,000.

Barnett was the only candidate to broadcast television ads in the GOP primary. Barnett and Canfield fought for the conservative Republican vote with Canfield's press secretary using his Christian newspaper to pump up Canfield.

Much of the battling in the GOP campaign was between the Barnett and Canfield camps, and took place on Internet chat rooms and e-mails sent to specific voters.

Jennison had a conservative voting record in the Legislature but ran afoul of some factions of the party by supporting expanded gambling and embryonic stem cell research.


yourworstnightmare 11 years, 9 months ago


When will you give up on the GOP? The GOP moderates are dead or dying. The GOP is in the firm control of right-wing, fundamentalist, anti-intellectual antediluvians.

The moderate mantle that the GOP once held is now in the hands of democrats: fiscal responsibility, social moderation, and reality-based decision making.

Jamesaust 11 years, 9 months ago

"The moderate mantle that the GOP once held is now in the hands of democrats...."

haha - don't get me started on the innumerable failings of the Democrats. The Democrats are the only people keeping the Party of God in power.

Moderateguy 11 years, 9 months ago

Don't forget that his proposed Lieutenant Governor is none other than Susan Wagle. Remember her? She's the conservative media hound who wanted to control the curriculum at KU. Just as we start to get rid of the fundies on the Board of Education, we give the national media another nutjob to focus on. Nice.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 9 months ago

Fantasy, JA, fantasy.

Look at the reality of the politics, and you will see that I am correct. No, the democrats are not perfect and are in fact embarrassing at times. But think about your convictions, expressed here in your generally dead-on posts, and match them to a political party.

The mod GOPers are gone. Give it up.

MWIV 11 years, 9 months ago

I can't decide if you all are poor loosers or happy winners? One thing is for sure, you all know how to throw darts! Hope you hit your target!

drewdun 11 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, we are going to see plenty from the typical Republican playbook this election: scapegoating (who's the hate-target-du-jour? Gays? Brown people? Abortionists?), name calling, insults (to the people's intelligence, as well as to GOP opponents), and that most Republican of values, unadulterated hate.

staff04 11 years, 9 months ago

Another way to look at it, Moderateguy, is that Kansas R's also just lobbed up a softball to Sebelius. I don't know when they will learn that history teaches that they can't win that office with any brand of neo-conservatism.

Steve Jacob 11 years, 9 months ago

Barnett will little help, money wise. Sebelius has this one in the beg, and all the money will go to unseat Moore, and possible hold onto Ryan' seat.

Wilbur_Nether 11 years, 9 months ago

Moore isn't a priority for the GOP national organization this year.

ksmoderate 11 years, 9 months ago

Barnett can become a crusader all he likes (immigration, school spending, etc.), but he'll still lose because of his lame excuse for a Lt. Gov.

Jamesaust 11 years, 9 months ago

Moore is off the GOP National Committee radar. They're looking to avoid losses not cause them.

Per Charlie Cook, perhaps the premiere political pollster, just yesterday:

"All of the traditional diagnostic indicators in major national polls taken in the past 10 days show numbers consistent with an electoral rout [for the GOP]."

"In the House, where Democrats need a 15-seat gain to win a majority, Republicans have 15 seats that the Cook Political Report currently rates as tossups. No Democratic seats remain in that column."

"In a very large tidal wave election, as this one appears to be, it would not be unusual to see all tossups go to one party, along with a few out of the leaning column as well."

mom_of_three 11 years, 9 months ago

"make English the official state language..."

yeah, that's the top of my priority list.

susanwagle 11 years, 9 months ago

Now, I will get to rule the world and KU. No sex education, no evolution. You will all be forced to read the Bible for 2 hours a day and give me a weekly report on all the sinful ways of Kansan's

Jamesaust 11 years, 9 months ago

While chances were never good of unseating Sebelius, the dilemma facing Barnett is Johnson County, where he didn't just lose to Canfield but fell behind Jennison (Mr. Western Kansas) as well. Johnson Co. and Sedgwick Co. are the mother lode of GOP votes. Barnett did well in Sedgwick - no doubt, due to the local notoriety of his running mate. If Barnett hopes to have a chance, he'll be living in JoCo until November.

'"Beat Dennis Moore and Kathleen Sebelius, that is our goal tonight,"' said GOP Chairman Tim Shallenburger.

Unfortunately for the Party, two Democrats are well ensconced in office in one of the most Republican states precisely because of Shallenburger, et al.

Having driven moderates to the Democrats, the GOP finds them difficult to lure back - a fact demonstrated well by the final sentence: "Jennison had a conservative voting record in the Legislature but ran afoul of some factions of the party by supporting expanded gambling and embryonic stem cell research." As Jennison (and even George W. at times) has learned, there's no such thing as 'conservative enough' for extremists, no matter how firm your record. Take the Ronald Reagan approach - give them some rhetoric and then ignore them.

drewdun 11 years, 9 months ago

Hey 75x55, when was the last time a Democratic candidate overtly (or even implicitly) called his opponent unpatriotic? When was the last time that a Demo candidate inferred that his/her Republican opponent supported the terrorists? When was the last time a Dem candidate said that his/her GOP opponent was immoral, against family values, and against faith?

You see, you bring out all of the red herrings (Dems hate Christians, businesspeople, pro-lifers (ignoring the fact that the US Senate Dem minority leader, Harry Reid, is anti-choice) that have no basis in reality (I'm not suggesting that people on the left, not connected to the Dems, haven't attacked your list of 'victims,' just that official Dem party organs haven't). However, the 'victims' of scapegoating that I described have actually seen the visceral hatred that is the heart and soul of the Republican Party. In fact, we have all seen your 'compassionate conservative' 'culture of life' in action. IMO, reeks of fascism.

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