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SPOTLIGHT
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GOP split

Published on -7/17/2014, 8:38 AM

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One hundred and four current and former Republican officeholders have announced publicly their support of Kansas gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis.

Nothing unusual, correct? Endorsements flow freely from the lips of past and present politicians for fellow party members. Except in this case Davis isn't a Republican. He's the presumed Democratic contender for Kansas' highest office.

And no less than 104 GOP members have bolted ranks in open opposition to incumbent Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.

These are not run-of-the-mill Republicans either. They include two lieutenant governors, three Senate presidents, three House speakers, majority and minority leaders from both chambers, state and local party chairs, national convention delegates, Board of Regents members, Kansas Chamber of Commerce chairs, district judges and U.S. district attorneys. There is one former U.S. Congresswoman and the current Kansas insurance commissioner. There are mayors, city and county commissioners, local board of education members, Kansas State Board of Tax Appeals judges, and current as well as former state House and Senate members.

This is an all-out revolt. Collectively, the moderate GOP members call themselves Republicans for Kansas Values.

"This election should not be about electing a Republican or a Democrat as governor," said former Kansas Senate President Dick Bond. "It must be about electing a moderate, commonsense Kansan as governor.

"I have been a Republican all my life and don't intend to change," he said. "But I am proud today to support Paul Davis and Jill Docking for Kansas' sake."

The group, which represents all areas of the state, is troubled by Brownback's economic experiment that already is showing signs of failure. Increasing deficits, depleting reserves, credit rating downgrades and fewer dollars for public education and social services all are taking place as the administration's regressive policies take hold. The moderates do not accept the governor's blaming anemic job growth and revenue shortages on the federal government, nor do they believe the slashing of corporate and personal income taxes will do anything but pad the pockets of companies and wealthy individuals.

"We are deeply concerned by the direction Sam Brownback is taking Kansas," said Wint Winter, former state senator from Douglas County. "Today we announce our opposition to his re-election."

We appreciate the stand these Republicans are taking. It might represent the only hope this state has to wrest control from the extreme, ultra-conservative faction that has Kansas on the road to financial ruin.

House Speaker Davis and running mate Jill Docking might not be able to break up the overwhelming majority conservatives have in the Legislature, but they represent the best chance for restoring sanity to the Statehouse. For the sake of kids and local economies alike, we hope the Republicans for Kansas Values have success in recruiting votes.

Editorial by Patrick Lowry

plowry@dailynews.net

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