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Top Kansas Democrat Not Running for Governor

One of the top Democratic picks for Kansas governor has decided to take a pass.

Democratic Party Chairman Larry Gates, who reportedly was the choice of current Gov. Mark Parkinson, turned down a bid this week. GOP Sen. Sam Brownback is stepping down from the Senate to run for governor in 2010, and Gates’ decision further clears the path for him to win the seat next November.

“The demands of our businesses in this economic crisis will not permit me to become a candidate,” Gates said in a published letter about his decision.

“We owe it to our investors, our loyal employees, our customers and our family to give our fullest attention to weathering this severe business downturn. I would owe it to you and all Kansans to run an aggressive, full-time campaign on the issues. The reality is, I cannot do both.”

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