Kansas GOP declares Brownback as governor nominee

OVERLAND PARK — U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback has easily won the Republican nomination for Kansas governor, beating Joan Heffington.

Brownback is giving up a Senate seat he's held since 1997. A favorite of abortion opponents, he made a brief run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2007 before dropping out.

Heffington, a former home builder and Boeing Co. purchasing agent, had been expected to get only a small percentage of the vote. She had promised to put every bill sent to her as governor through a biblical test before signing it.

The Democratic nominee for governor is state Sen. Tom Holland, of Baldwin City. He faced no primary opponent.

The Republican Governors Association also declared Brownback the winner.

Republican Governors Association spokesman Tim Murtaugh released this statement: "Senator Sam Brownback is an extremely strong candidate who will run on a clear vision of a Kansas that holds the line on taxes, controls government spending and clears away the obstacles that prevent job creation and economic growth. Kansans will be well served when Sam Brownback is elected governor in November."