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Morning Sun
  • Brownback wins gov. race

  • After spending the last 16 years in Washington, Sam Brownback is ready to come home.

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  • After spending the last 16 years in Washington, Sam Brownback is ready to come home.
    On Tuesday, the former senior Senator from Linn County was elected the next governor of Kansas by a wide margin over Democrat challenger, state Sen. Tom Holland of Baldwin City.
    Brownback will replace Gov. Mark Parkinson, who took over the job in 2009 when then-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius resigned to become the secretary of the U.S. Health and Human Services.
    In a telephone interview after the race was called, Brownback said that he is ready to roll up his sleeves and get to work.
    “We have a lot of work to do,” Brownback said. “With the recent revenue projections, it looks like we are dealing with hundreds of millions of a shortfall.”
    Both Holland and Brownback focused their attention on the state’s economy. According to the latest fiscal forecast for the remainder of the current fiscal year and into the next, the state could face a shortfall of as large as $500 million. That is despite a 1-cent sales tax increase across the state that took effect in July.
    “I’ve been working with Gov. Parkinson and I expect a good transition,” Brownback said. “I’ve been briefed on the budget and the focus will be on how to get it under control. It will take a lot.”
    After calling to concede to Brownback, Holland offered support to the new governor.
    “He’s shown the world the compassion that all Kansans have for those in need,” Holland said. “I know he’ll bring that same compassion and determination to serving our state and he has earned our sincere congratulations.”
    Brownback said that the first things he will tackle will be jobs and state spending. He said that those are the primary items that will have to be under control for the state to progress.
    As for looking at what may have to be cut with regards to state spending, Brownback said that the list is there and that every option will be looked at.
    “There are a number of functions that we cannot continue to do if they are not in the core functions of the government,” Brownback said.
    Even in defeat, Holland touted being a Democrat.
    “Tonight you are going to hear the pundits say that this was simply a bad year to be a Democrat,” Holland said. “Well, the pundits are wrong. It’s never a bad year to protect our schools, our students and our teachers. It’s never a bad year to stand up for working men and women across this state, to fight for better wages, more jobs and the right to organize.”
    But, for now, Brownback will start to work on a job that will be an uphill battle from the start.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I knew that when I applied, but I think we can do it and make it better,” Brownback said.
    “We are going to have to make major changes because that is what it will take to get things moving.”
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