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August 8, 2012 Print

Kansas Conservatives Oust Incumbents In Tuesday Primaries

by Bethany Monk

Kansas could soon be seeing more pro-life legislation pass, after conservatives beat out more than half a dozen moderates in Tuesday’s Republican primary.

One incumbent was Sen. Tim Owens, who as chairman of the Senate Reapportionment Committee endorsed by Planned Parenthood, was a major “roadblock” to pro-life bills, said Kansas for Life Development Director David Gittrich. In all, eight Senate Republicans lost to more conservative challengers.

“There was a lot to circumvent,” Gittrich said, adding that Owens “tried to kill every pro-life bill. We were still able to get legislation passed, but now that (Owens) is not there, the roads are repaved.”

The targeted moderates outspent their conservative challengers, and received financial backing from the state’s largest teachers unions and labor groups, usually associated with Democrats. Conservatives were supported by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Prosperity, the anti-tax, small-government group.

Gittrich said the state’s voters have clearly shown what they stand for.

“It shows that the people of Kansas are strongly pro-life,” Gittrich said. “They got a chance to have the issues front and center. They voted for candidates who will defend life. It’s nice to see the state is moving into the pro-life arena.”