Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Greener Pastures for GOP ; Politicians Give Thanks to Farm Bureau for Election Support

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Greener Pastures for GOP ; Politicians Give Thanks to Farm Bureau for Election Support

Article excerpt

MANHATTAN -- Gov. Sam Brownback and Sen. Pat Roberts paid tribute before more than 1,000 members of the Kansas Farm Bureau on Monday evening after the organization pushed for the re-election of both men in tough races.

The two Republicans made their comments at the end of the first day of the bureau's annual meeting. Before a large banquet crowd, Roberts took a victory lap and expressed his appreciation to the Farm Bureau following his 53 percent to 43 percent win over independent Greg Orman in the November election.

"I want to take this opportunity to say thank you for your support, your endorsement and your engagement, and I really mean engagement on my behalf, and I know what a tremendous role you played in my victory," Roberts said.

Brownback echoed Roberts' statement, naming Farm Bureau in a rebuke of the national commentators who had declared his candidacy troubled. Polling prior to the campaign had shown the governor in a tight race with Democratic Rep. Paul Davis. The last polling average from Insight Kansas before the November election showed Davis 4.2 points ahead, though Brownback ultimately prevailed, 50 percent to 46 percent.

"You guys were fabulous. I really appreciate that. Thanks for participating. The national punditry had both Pat Roberts and I dead but they didn't know about Kansas Farm Bureau and they didn't know about a lot of other things in the state of Kansas," Brownback said.

Both Roberts and Brownback's remarks took up only a few minutes and didn't delve into agricultural policy specifics.

For Roberts, the Farm Bureau's support helped shore up the senator's agricultural credibility, which became an issue in the campaign. Orman, an Olathe businessman, attacked Roberts for missing two-thirds of his agriculture committee hearings since 2000. At the time, the Roberts campaign reiterated that ranchers and farmers in Kansas had "no greater friend" than Roberts.

The Farm Bureau endorsed Roberts in December 2013, nine months before the senator faced a competitive August primary and nearly a year before the general election. …

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