Topeka In the final moments before Tuesday's primary, six Republican gubernatorial hopefuls tried to break away from the pack to persuade GOP voters to give them the chance to take on Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat.
State Sen. Jim Barnett of Emporia noted that he had the most campaign funds, author and consultant Ken Canfield of Overland Park said he provided the freshest face in the campaign and Robin Jennison, a former House speaker from Healy, said he and his lieutenant governor running mate, state Sen. Dennis Wilson of Overland Park, had the most legislative experience and most diverse geographic background.
Former legislator and attorney Rex Crowell of Longton said he was the most "moderate" Republican in the bunch, while attorney Tim Pickell of Westwood said he could unite the different wings of the GOP.
Dennis Hawver, an attorney from Ozawkie, said he wanted the election to be a referendum on the war in Iraq, which he opposes.
The candidates answered questions during a one-hour forum on KPTS-TV in Wichita that was broadcast statewide on public television.
Election 2006 - Kansas races
More on the 2006 Elections in Kansas
- 6News video: Low turnout may result in new primary election date (08-30-06)
- 6News video: Candidate speaks at university forum (08-30-06)
- 6News video: Evolution supporters will hold board majority (08-02-06)
- 6News video: Snag-free night for primaries (08-02-06)
- 6News video: County puts new voting machines to test (08-01-06)
- 6News video: Praeger holds up over opponent (08-01-06)
- Low turnout prompts call for new primary date (08-31-06)
- Publisher blasts candidate for illegally stuffing newspapers (08-04-06)
- Election hailed as pro-evolution (08-03-06)
- New voting machines perform well on first test (08-03-06)
- Barnett wins GOP bid to take on Sebelius (08-02-06)
- Voter turnout among lowest in memory (08-02-06)
- Eudora takes plunge on pool (08-02-06)
- Praeger prevails in 'negative' contest (08-02-06)
- Primary election results
- See how the voting went in select races
- Campaign finance reports
- Statewide office
- Board of Education
- Election 2006 - Kansas races
While they bashed Sebelius and generally agreed on most issues, the candidates differed on two major subjects: gambling and school finance.
Barnett and Canfield said they would oppose any expansion of casino gambling.
"It's a curse," Barnett said of gambling.
Canfield suggested that it might be a good idea to consider doing away with the state lottery.
Crowell said he would support casinos if approved by voters in the area where a casino would be, and Jennison, a former lobbyist for gambling interests, said the state is losing revenue that Kansans are spending at venues in Missouri and Oklahoma.
Pickell said he would allow a casino at The Woodlands horse and dog track in Kansas City and Hawver said the government should have no say in limiting casinos.
On school finance, Barnett said the three-year, $466 million funding plan approved Friday by the Kansas Supreme Court will lead to a tax increase. But Canfield, whose running mate, Rep. Kathe Decker of Clay Center, helped craft the finance bill, said he supported the measure.
Several candidates blasted the court for requiring lawmakers to increase school funding, but Crowell and Pickell defended the court.
"The court had no choice. The Legislature is charged with providing an adequate education and they weren't doing it," Crowell said.