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Brownback Gets Clear Primary Field in Kansas Governor Race

CQ Photo

Sam Brownback (Getty)

Kansas Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh has ended his bid in the state’s 2010 contest for governor, giving retiring Sen. Sam Brownback a clear path to the GOP nomination.

The development also solidifies Brownback’s status as the front-runner in the race for the seat — currently held by interim Democratic Gov. Mark Parkinson — as he will be spared a primary contest with a well-known and longtime statewide officeholder. Thornburgh has been secretary of state since he was first elected in 1994.  

Nonetheless, Thornburgh would have needed a major come-from-behind push to overcome Brownback, who first won his Senate seat in a 1996 special election, won landslide re-election victories in 1998 and 2004, and ran a short-lived campaign for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. A recent poll conducted by SurveyUSA showed Brownback trouncing Thornburgh by a margin of 47 percentage points.

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