Conservatives Take Over Senate

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August 8, 2012

Kansans woke up to a conservative swing some are calling unprecedented.

A number incumbent moderate republicans fell in Tuesday night's primary. It was an ouster led by big bucks from conservative groups given a blessing by Governor Sam Brownback.

Wichita City Council member Michael O'Donnell was one of 21 conservatives running for senate who beat the moderate incumbent. .

O'Donnell was one of several Republican senate candidates backed by The Kansas Chamber of Commerce and by political action committee money. KAKE News talked to Fort Hays State University political scientist Chapman Rackaway. He says the push by Governor Sam Brownback to swing the senate to the right worked.

"He'll be able to have control of the Kansas senate which has been that last real road block to his agenda," said Rackaway.

Sedgwick Republican Senator Carolyn McGinn is one of only five moderates to survive the primary.

"Last night we lost a lot of experience," McGinn said.

So what does this mean? She says changes in leadership and committee members and more support for Brownback's policies.

"Yes, a different philosophy moving down the road in Kansas" McGinn said. "We'll just wait and see if that's what Kansas needs and moves us in a positive direction."

Brownback is calling for cutting taxes, downsizing government and privatizing services for poor and disabled.
Either way Rackaway calls what's happening unprecedented.

"It's a cosmic roll of the dice. A gamble that could either have great payoffs or disastrous costs."

In the meantime, Democrats are regrouping focusing on the general election. They are hoping voters will elect Democrats in November, Democrats who are pushing for a reduction in property taxes.

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