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Archive for Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Roberts has $2M to fight off potential challengers

October 16, 2007

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— Sen. Pat Roberts hauled in about $400,000 over the last three months as he tries to scare off prominent Democrats from challenging his bid for a third term in Congress.

The amount gives the Kansas Republican more than $2 million in the bank with just over a year before the 2008 election, according to his latest Federal Election Commission report released on Monday.

"Roberts is clearly prepared to run a strong campaign with the help of Kansans across the state," said Dennis Jones, a member of Roberts' campaign steering committee from Lakin, Kan.

Roberts did not face a major party challenger in 2002. But with recent Democratic gains in Congress, he has been active early in the latest campaign cycle.

Former Democratic Rep. Jim Slattery has been considering jumping into the Senate race. Slattery, who represented Kansas' 2nd congressional district from 1983 to 1995, has spent the last dozen years working as a lawyer and lobbyist in Washington. He did not respond to a request for comment.

Roberts' campaign said more than half of all contributions made from July 1 to Sept. 30 came from Kansas. The campaign also spent $217,375 over the same period.

Last month, Slattery said he was in "the very early stages" of thinking about challenging Roberts. Democratic officials have said Slattery is the only potential candidate the party has spoken with about running for the seat.

Roberts first won his U.S. Senate seat in 1996. He previously served eight terms in the U.S. House.

Kansas has not elected a Democratic senator in 75 years.

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