Democrats criticize Brownback policies, partisanship


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WICHITA, Kan. -- The Democrats running for Kansas Governor and Lieutenant Governor visited with voters in two south-central Kansas counties Saturday, blasting policies championed by Governor Sam Brownback and saying there is too much political divisiveness in Topeka.

Candidate for Lieutenant Governor Jill Docking said Governor Brownback has put political party ideology ahead of Kansas.

"Governor Brownback brought Washington to Kansas," she said. "We need Washington to go back to Washington."

Docking and Paul Davis, the Democratic candidate for governor, said at campaign stops in Wellington, Arkansas City and Winfield that things in Topeka have become too much about political party labels.

"In Kansas, we have a tradition of all of us working together and that's what works best in our state," Docking said.

Davis told Sumner and Cowley County voters political divisiveness, which he blames on Brownback, will hurt Kansas.

"When it comes to our schools, our children, when it comes to rebuilding the middle class, creating jobs, party affiliation just shouldn't matter," Davis said.

Party affiliation will have to not matter if Davis wants to defeat an incumbent Republican governor in a state in which a majority of voters are registered Republicans. Some of the Democrats attending Davis' rallies said they think that could happen.

"We have several friends that are Republicans that are very disillusioned with the governor, so they're looking for something different, too," said Nancy Countryman, a Sumner County resident who attended the Wellington rally.

Ark City resident Rich Haas said he has heard the same talk from some of his friends.

"Even the ones that have been die hard Republicans for years are looking for a change also," Haas said.

Davis said he believes Kansans are still more interested in bipartisan cooperation than they are in voting a straight party ticket.

"Traditionally, folks here have been more interested in just getting things done and working together than they have been worried about party labels," he said.

Brownback has said the policies he backed have helped usher much-needed economic growth into Kansas and he believes that will resonate with voters in November.


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