Skip to comments.Kan. gov. selects running mate for race (who switched party affiliation yesterday)
Posted on 05/31/2006 6:10:07 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius announced Wednesday that the former state Republican party chairman, who switched his affiliation to Democrat only a day earlier, will be her next running mate.
Mark Parkinson will replace retiring Lt. Gov. John Moore, also a former Republican, on the Democratic ticket.
"My philosophy has always been good leaders and great ideas don't come with a party label," Sebelius said at a news conference.
The Kansas GOP fired off a statement calling Parkinson a hypocrite and pointing out that four years ago Parkinson had called Sebelius a "left-wing liberal Democrat" and said Republicans who supported her were "either insincere or uninformed."
"Mark Parkinson obviously feels more at home with liberal Democrats than he does with Republicans. By his own words, he is either uninformed or insincere. Or third, he is simply coming out of the closet," said Ron Freeman, executive director of the state Republican Party.
Parkinson, 48, acknowledged that he had doubted Sebelius when she first ran for governor four years ago but said he now believes she provides "independent leadership" for Kansas.
"In an age where leaders duck responsibility and dodge their mistakes let me be the first to say: I was wrong," Parkinson said in a written statement.
Sebelius cited Parkinson's business experience and willingness to work with people from different political parties as reasons she chose him.
"I was looking for a Kansan who shares my independent approach to leading this state; someone willing to set partisanship aside for the sake of achieving real progress," Sebelius said. "And I was looking for a Kansan who brings a businessperson's perspective and critical eye to the operations of state government."
Parkinson, who owns and operates assisted-living centers, served as GOP chairman from 1999-2003. He also served in the state House from 1991-92 and the Senate from 1993-97.
The Republican Party has dominated Kansas politics since statehood, but for years the Kansas GOP has been split between moderates and conservatives. Sebelius hopes to win votes from Parkinson's fellow moderates in her re-election bid something she did successfully when she beat conservative Republican challenger Tim Shallenburger in 2002 after Moore switched parties to be her running mate.
Shallenburger, now the state GOP chairman, said he had no fear that Parkinson's move heralded an exodus of moderates to the Democratic camp, saying the Republican Party is broad enough to hold a wide range of views.
"This doesn't bother me," Shallenburger said. "It bothers me when people do it for reasons that are not true."
U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback (news, bio, voting record), R-Kan., who shared the stage with Sebelius at a pandemic flu conference later in the day, called Parkinson's decision "a personal betrayal."
Another prominent Kansas Republican who recently switched parties is Johnson County District Attorney Paul Morrison, who hopes to challenge conservative Republican Attorney General Phill Kline in the November general election.
Mark Parkinson speaks to supporters after being named as running mate with Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, left, during a stop in Overland Park, Kan, Wednesday, May 31, 2006. Parkinson is the former chairman of the Kansas Republican Party. Sebelius is a Democrat. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
The RINOs will be the death of the Republican party. They truly are Democrats who are Republicans in name only. That is why they are willing to sit out elections if they don't get their way. They are content and more comfortable if the Dems win than if conservatives win.
Well, at least he just improved the Republican Party of Kansas. And he also proves what I've always said, that some of the Kansas Republicans are really Democrats. Glad to lose one.
Shallenburger seems like a nice guy who just also happens to be a big gutless sucker.
Here is where someone should remind everyone about Shallenburger's campaign for governor where he was too afraid to be honest about his beliefs everywhere except in his fundraising letters.
If the GOP hadn't fielded a candidate with less charisma
than AlGore last time out, Sebelius wouldn't be our governor
If the GOP can get a half-vast decent candidate, today's
treachery will give that candidate an edge.
How is this different from "conservatives" who are more than willing to sit out elections if they don't get their way? Some of them are even seemed to long for Dems win so that they could say, "I told you so!"
Ex-Kansas GOP chair switches affiliation
AP on Yahoo ^ | 5/30/06 | John Milburn - ap
Posted on 05/30/2006 3:24:07 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
Does he mean kind of like Brownback's vote for the larded up immigration bill that give illegals certain rights even American citizens can't have?
My father died of Parkinson's Disease. But he died a Republican. Seems like the Republicans in Kansas are much better off without this disease. Treacherous bastidd.
I only met him twice, back in the 90s. He's an older style me-too repulican. There was a very strong "anti-Jesus Freak" sentiment among many moderate Republicans then. He never came out and said it but that was the camp he was in.
"Does he mean [a personal betrayal] kind of like Brownback's vote for the larded up immigration bill that give illegals certain rights even American citizens can't have?"
Beat me to it BUMP!
That's interesting. I think he tries very hard to please everyone. He sees that as being unifying. But it isn't. You unify by being truthful, straightforward, bold but also PERSUASIVE! His way is to evade, not persuade. To me that's dishonesty and weakness.