Not my district, but we get their ads on television. I mute most of the R ads, but I did notice that his first prominently featured the line "repeal the death tax forever." (Typical right-wing boilerplate.)
Not may have, will have. Brownback has already stated that he is not running for re-election.
With Jerry Moran and Todd Tiahrt both eyeing the seat, there's an opening. Moran's already in the race and Tiahrt seems likely to join him. This could lead to a "scorched earth" Republican primary, which would likely be Tiahrt's only chance of beating Moran.
The two most likely candidates for the Democrats would be either Gov. Sebelius or Rep. Dennis Moore (KS-3), who's not running for re-election, either of whom could win if the primary sufficiently wounds the Republican nominee.
(On a side note, if the Governor decides to seek the Senate seat, I'm hoping Rep. Moore runs for Governor.)
From the perspective of my own state, these unintended consequences are why I'm questioning whether I want Governor Sebelius to be offered anything at all right now.
For one thing, if she left, Mark Parkinson -- a former head of the Kansas Republican Party -- would be on the spot to defend against his former colleagues. How much would he wind up caving? Would he be willing to run at the top of the ticket in 2010 as a true Democrat -- and not as a Lieberman-style "independent" Democrat with Republican leanings?
For another, it would be hard for her to challenge for the Senate in 2010 if she's been in Washington for a year or two. That would leave us with the hope that Dennis Moore might run, since he's not going to try to hold his House seat.
On the other hand, Governor Sebelius would doubtlessly do very well for the American people in just about any post she took on in Washington. She's tremendously capable and would be a boon to the Obama administration.
It's a tremendous dilemma, but it's worth it. It's far better that we're worrying about our man pulling in some of our best for the good of the nation rather than worrying about what "devil you don't know" is going to be left when the "devil you know" gets picked for the other party's administration.
KS- Competitive only if Brownback retires (likely) AND Sebelius runs.
Brownback's already said he isn't running again. Unfortunately, I think that's because he has unannounced plans to make a gubernatorial run.
I may have been wrong about the R field clearing for Jerry Moran (KS-1). Apparently, Todd Tiahrt (KS-4) and others are looking into the seat as well. If there's one thing the Rs could do to muck this up for themselves, it would be an extra-bloody primary battle.
The question, then, is whether the Governor will still be in Kansas to run for the Senate. Since she's term limited, she might take a job in the administration.
Don't be so sure. She'd be running against Jerry Moran, who's almost certain to get no more than token opposition from the Republican field. She's also taken a couple of hits for the Holcomb (coal plant) decision and her (out-of-state) campaigning for Obama.
I'm not saying that she couldn't win, but it's far from a done deal.
Slattery has to hit Roberts the way Roberts has been hitting him, though.
Every Roberts ad refers to Slattery as a "Washington lobbyist" at least a couple of times. While Slattery does mention that Roberts has been in Washington for 40 years, you'd think he'd want to use actual terms like "career politician" to refer to Roberts.