Kansas Liberty: 15 June 2009
'I failed to reach internal benchmarks necessary for us to be successful.'
Thornburgh backs out of governor's race
Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh has pulled out of the 2010 gubernatorial campaign, yielding the race for the Republican nomination to Sen. Sam Brownback.
Thornburgh explained his reasoning in a letter posted on his campaign web site.
“I did not run to make a political statement- I ran to win,” Thornburgh said. “We have been successful in generating support to organize the campaign; however, I failed to reach internal benchmarks necessary for us to be successful.…as much as I want to be your next governor — the reality is the facts are not with us this time.”
Last month, a SurveyUSA poll showed Brownback was easily winning the primary race over Thornburgh. The poll reported that 64 percent of respondents supported Brownback, 17 percent supported Thornburgh, and 20 percent were undecided.
United States Senator Sam Brownback discussed Thornburgh’s decision to bow out of the race, first in a statement released to the press and then later on in a radio interview.
Brownback referred to Thornburgh as a “formidable and worthy” opponent in the Republican primary race.
“For more than seventeen years, Ron Thornburgh has been the model of an outstanding public servant---hard-working, decent, effective, principled, honest,” Brownback said in a statement. “On behalf of a grateful state, let me offer my profound thanks to Ron for his service in the Secretary of State's office. I know that his decision to withdraw his name was an extraordinarily difficult one for him and his family to make.”
During an afternoon interview on the Shanin & Parks show on KMBZ news radio Brownback said he was glad he wouldn’t have to run against Thornburgh and said it would help in uniting the Kansas’ Republican Party rather than it being “fractured” which Brownback said had happened in the past.
When asked if Brownback had cut a deal with Thornburgh and promised him the lieutenant governor position, Brownback said he had not, but also did not deny that Thornburgh was being considered for the position.
“He is a very qualified person,” Brownback said.
Mike Shanin and Scott Parks also brought up the question of whether or not former CBS news reporter Bill Kurtis would be putting his name in the race as a Democratic gubernatorial candidate. Some news outlets are speculating that Kurtis, who owns a ranch in Kansas, may be considering running.
Brownback replied by saying he had not heard much about the possibility. Brownback is currently running unopposed.
Thornburgh did not reveal any plans to endorse Brownback in his statement.
CiCi Rojas, executive director of the Kansas Republican Party, said she was confident Thornburgh would continue to be a great leader in Kansas.
“We have a great deal of respect for Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh,” Rojas told Kansas Liberty. “If (Brownback) is the only Republican candidate, then we are looking forward to doing the things we need to do as a party to ensure his success and the success of a Republican elected governor.”
Ron Thornburgh’s campaign web site
United States Senator Sam Brownback
Kansas Liberty story on SurveyUSApoll