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GOP governors face headwinds in traditional strongholds


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2550971Washington Examiner:

Gov. Sam Brownback's election, in 2010, was supposed to be a harbinger of a conservative revolution in Kansas.


Brownback's uncompromising, ideological brand of politics marked a major departure from decades of moderate governors, Democratic and Republican; his supporters hailed his election as the beginning of a new political era for Kansas, foretelling a turn toward more conservative economic and social policies.


But, even then, his detractors warned that his election was not an open-ended mandate.


“Kansans want moderate leadership,” Tom Holland, Brownback's Democratic challenger, told The New York Times at the time. “We have a history again and again where conservatives take over and do something extreme and the voters kick them out of office.”


That might happen sooner than even Holland and Democrats could have predicted. Brownback has faced festering frustrations over some of his more aggressive policies, including tax cuts during a period of budget shortfalls in Kansas. This week, 100 Kansas Republicans cited this issue and others as they endorsed Brownback's Democratic opponent, Paul Davis, who has been keeping pace with Brownback in recent public polls.

Brownback's fragile political standing is especially significant because Kansas' political landscape so heavily favors Republicans. But Republicans are facing similar challenges in gubernatorial races elsewhere in the country.Scissors-32x32.png

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