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Stephene Moore, wife of Rep. Dennis Moore, says she's running for Congress

Stephene Moore, who has been married to Congressman Dennis Moore for 20 years, told The Star this morning that she’s running for Congress.

The Democrat, who was said to be in the race a week ago, acknowledged that some will think that she has a right to the seat because of her marriage.

Her husband announced last year that he would not seek a seventh term this year.

“I absolutely, completely disagree with them,” Moore said. “I’m not entitled to the seat. I’ve lived here for 40 years. I’ve had an interest in these issues of public concern for our community.

“I know the people of this community are very much aligned with the way that I am. We all seem to want the same things. I will work on those issues, Democrat or Republican ideas, whichever they are.

“If they’re good for Kansas, that’s where we’re going to go.”

Because of her name identification, Moore, 56, will be the front-runner for the Democratic nomination. She is filing paperwork with the Federal Election Commission today that will allow her to begin raising money for the seat.

She begins her campaign at the start of the year’s second quarter, so we won’t have any sense of her campaign finances until mid-July when second-quarter reports are filed.

Moore said she would have a more formal campaign rollout in the weeks ahead.

She said she had lived in the 3rd District since 1965. A graduate of Shawnee Mission East, Moore has a bachelor of science degree in nursing from the KU School of Nursing. She specializes in high-risk obstetrics.

She is a certified childbirth educator and labor and delivery nurse and has assisted in the delivery of more than 1,000 Kansas children.

In a 30-minute interview, Moore discussed everything from abortion to how she would have voted on health care reform and her Republican opposition.

Moore:

Would have vote for national health care reform in part because it decreases the national debt. “I believe for our country we had to do it. The insurance system was broken down. And doing nothing was not an option.”

Backs abortion rights.

Would not say whether she would vote for Nancy Pelosi to serve another term as House speaker. “There will come a time when I look at that and make a decision.”

Would have voted for the stimulus bill and cap-and-trade because of the jobs it creates.

Unlike her husband, she opposed the bank bail-out bill, saying there wasn’t enough oversight built into the legislation.

She wouldn’t comment on any of the Republicans running for the 3rd District seat, saying Republican voters have to sort out the field.

Moore said she wanted to carry on her husband’s good work in constituent services and was especially interested in education and health care, particularly childhood obesity.

Dennis Moore originally wanted to serve in Congress for 10 years but extended it to 12, Stephene Moore said.

“He is 65 years old this fall. He’s ready to make new changes in what he’s doing with his life,” Stephene Moore said.

“Right now we’re both pursuing new options. He’s looking toward the future and some exciting things that will probably present themselves.

“I’ve been interested in public issues affecting the community for a long, long time. This is an opportunity for me to do that.”

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