Sunday, January 01, 2006

Moderates Oppose Far Right in Kansas GOP

There may still be some hope for Kansas as now all are moving to the far right:

A moderate Republican who lost her seat in the Kansas House to a conservative GOP opponent will try to win it back as a Democrat.

Cindy Neighbor, now a member of the Shawnee Mission Board of Education, is the second prominent Republican from Johnson County to switch parties in order to run next year.

In a move that showed just how deep a divide exists between the party’s conservative and moderate wings, District Attorney Paul Morrison said in October that he would run as a Democrat against conservative Attorney General Phill Kline in 2006.

“We haven’t left the Republican Party,” Neighbor said Friday. “They left us.”

Neighbor ran for the House as a Republican in 2002, when she defeated incumbent Mary Pilcher Cook in a close primary election. Both are from Shawnee.

Cook defeated Neighbor in the 2004 GOP primary, but Neighbor’s supporters believe the larger voter pool in a general election - as opposed to a party-only primary - will give her the base of Democrats and moderate Republicans she needs to win.


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