Yesterday’s announcement that state Sen. Terrie Huntington would be retiring so she could focus on caring for her ailing mother shifted the casting in a race that was expected to garner considerable attention for its role in determining whether moderates or conservatives will control the Kansas senate.But Kay Wolf’s entry into the field is unlikely to change the tenor of the campaign leading up to the Aug. 7 Republican primary — because both Wolf and Harvey suggest that Wolf’s tenure in office would largely resemble Huntington’s.
“Terrie was a fantastic senator, and I think she represented the interests and positions of the people in this area very well,” Wolf said. “I absolutely consider her a role model.”
Harvey would agree with such a characterization — though he does see advantages in the new election landscape.
“I think she’s a Terrie clone,” Harvey said of Wolf. “From our perspective, we really looked at Terrie as an entrenched force, and now that she’s not in the race, we don’t have to fight against an entrenched incumbent.”
Huntington beat Harvey with 54 percent of the primary vote in August 2010 after a campaign that saw Harvey draw considerable support from the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, which has financed more conservative candidates in recent elections.
Harvey said his platform in the coming election will closely mirror that of his 2010 effort, with a focus on cutting taxes. Harvey characterizes himself as pro-education, though he opposed the 2010 1 percent state sales tax increase that funded schools.
“There is plenty of fluff in the state budget to fund schools and cut taxes,” he said. “You can find the money for education.”