Governor, NRA pick Six in Kansas

Jessica M. Karmasek Oct. 1, 2010, 11:25am


TOPEKA, Kan. (Legal Newsline) - Kansas attorney general candidates Steve Six and Derek Schmidt each picked up notable endorsements this week.

Six, the Democratic incumbent, announced on Thursday he earned the backing of the National Rifle Association.

The group noted the attorney general's support for gun rights, including the filing of a brief in a 2008 case that affirmed an individual's right to bear arms.

"On behalf of the National Rifle Association's Political Victory Fund and the tens of thousands of NRA members in Kansas, I am pleased to inform you of your 'A' rating and endorsement in the 2010 General Election for Attorney General," Randy Kozuch, director of State and Local Affairs at the NRA, wrote to Six's campaign.

Six also received an endorsement from Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson, who touted his fellow Democrat's record as a lawyer and district court judge.

"Steve has been a strong advocate for public safety, he has gone after waste and fraud in Medicaid, and he has done more for Kansas consumers than any Attorney General before. He is the right choice for Kansas, and I am proud to offer him my full support," the governor said in a statement on Wednesday.

Six was appointed attorney general in January 2008 by former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and is seeking a full four-year term. Sebelius is now the secretary of the federal Department of Health and Human Services.

"I'm proud of what we've been able to accomplish for Kansans; we cannot go back to the days when politics guided the office," Six said in a statement following Parkinson's announcement.

"Working with Governor Parkinson, we've cut our own taxpayer funded budget almost in half while at the same time protecting vital funding that is being used to eliminate the DNA backlog and keep sexually violent predators off the streets and away from our children."

Meanwhile, Six's Republican opponent, state Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt, announced the endorsement of a former Kansas Bureau of Investigations director.

Larry Welch, who said he has intentionally avoided politics in the past, gave Schmidt his full support on Thursday. Welch has agreed to serve as the co-chairman of Schmidt's campaign.

Welch served as the Kansas' Bureau director from 1994 until he retired in June 2007. Before then, he spent 25 years with the FBI.

"Derek Schmidt has a long and distinguished record of standing up for public safety and the needs of Kansas law enforcement," Welch said at a press conference on Thursday. "Year in and year out Derek Schmidt has been a reliable friend of law enforcement in the Statehouse, and he will make a great attorney general for Kansas. I strongly support him."

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