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Kansas: Tiahrt and Moran Will Square Off for Senate

Rep. Todd Tiahrt announced Saturday that he will run for retiring Sen. Sam Brownback’s (R) seat in 2010, setting up a high-profile Republican primary pitting him against Rep. Jerry Moran. Brownback is considered likely to run for governor in 2010.

Tiahrt announced his candidacy in front of a crowd in Topeka.

“As I travel across Kansas listening and sharing my vision for a more prosperous state, I have been encouraged to take my leadership to the United States Senate in 2010,” Tiahrt said, according to a release from his campaign. “I stand before you today announcing that I am now a candidate for the United States Senate.”

Just a few days before Tiarht’s announcement, Moran filed his paperwork with the secretary of state in Kansas to get on the ballot for the 2010 primary.

Moran will start the race with a large financial advantage. According to year-end fundraising reports, Moran had $2.5 million in his campaign account, while Tiahrt reported about $1 million in his coffers.

What’s more, Moran released a Public Opinion Strategies poll last week that showed him leading in a potential GOP primary with Tiahrt. In the survey of 500 likely Republican voters taken Jan. 13-14, Moran led Tiarht, 41 percent to 25 percent, with 34 percent undecided. The poll had a margin of error of 4.4 points.

Democrats are waiting to hear whether popular Gov. Kathleen Sebelius will enter the race. She is term-limited out of office in 2010.

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