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Kansas Democrats criticize Brownback's fundraising but still lack their own candidate

TOPEKA – The Kansas Democratic Party called Sen. Sam Brownback’s fund raising efforts “underwhelming” on Wednesday although they lacked anything for a comparison.

The party has no official candidate after former pharmaceutical executive Tom Wiggans withdrew his name in mid-December as the party’s gubernatorial contender.

Brownback, a Republican who is serving in the U.S. Senate, raised more than $1.53 million in cash contributions, his campaign reported last week.

Much of the money came from out-of-state contributors or political action committees, a release by the Democratic party pointed out.

"It's no surprise that a Washington politician would turn to D.C. insiders before turning to the people of the state he seeks to represent," said Kenny Johnston, Executive Director of the Kansas Democratic Party, adding, "Sam Brownback is clearly banking on the support of special-interest groups in Washington instead of ordinary Kansans."

A report by Wiggins’ campaign showed he had raised $590,430 before dropping out – $250,000 was a donation to himself.

The only other Democrat to have tossed his name into the ring for governor is Herbert West III of Paola. His filing showed West had raised $220 last year in donations – all from himself.

West previously ran unsuccessfully for Miami County Sheriff.

It costs $1,920 to file to run for governor in Kansas. The deadline to file is June 10 at noon.