Kansas: Moran Afraid to Offend Moderates, Ex-Aide Says

Posted July 26, 2010 at 7:10pm

Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R) picked up an endorsement from the former campaign manager for his chief rival for the Senate nomination, Rep. Jerry Moran.

The ex-manager, Paul Moore, wrote a letter to fellow Republicans that criticized Moran’s conservative beliefs.

“To my surprise, Jerry Moran winced at the frequent use of the words ‘conservative’ or ‘pro-life’ to portray himself out of fear he might offend moderate or pro-choice voters,” Moore wrote.

That news broke as the Wichita Eagle — the leading newspaper in Tiahrt’s district — came out with its endorsement of Moran in the Aug. 3 Republican primary.

The newspaper wrote that Moran “is our pick because he has a better statewide perspective on issues and should provide a more reasoned, balanced approach to lawmaking.

On the campaign trail Monday, gun rights was the issue of the moment, with Tiahrt promoting his endorsement by the state’s affiliate of the National Rifle Association.

The NRA declared itself neutral in the primary after giving Tiahrt a rating of “A Plus” and Moran a rating of “A.”

The seat is open; the incumbent, Sen. Sam Brownback (R), is running for governor.