Former congressman to challenge Roberts
Topeka Former congressman Jim Slattery, a Democrat, on Tuesday announced his bid to unseat U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, a Republican.
Introduced by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius before a cheering crowd, Slattery promised change in Washington, D.C., and criticized Roberts for marching lock-step with President Bush on the Iraq war and federal economic policies.
"My opponent is an entrenched politician who moved to Washington, D.C., before Neil Armstrong landed on the moon," Slattery said.
Slattery took Roberts to task for backing policies that have resulted in increased national debt and high gasoline prices while oil companies reap record profits.
He blasted Roberts, who was chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, for his oversight during the run-up to the war in Iraq.
"Senator Pat Roberts supported a reckless fiscal policy and Iraq War policy of the Bush-Cheney administration," Slattery said.
The Roberts' camp issued a prepared statement at the kick-off event that criticized Slattery for working as a lobbyist since 1994.
"Already this week, Pat Roberts has won a huge victory for Kansas manufacturing jobs by defeating new taxes in the aviation bill," said Roberts campaign spokeswoman Ashley McNanus. "Meanwhile, in 14 years as a Washington lobbyist, the only thing Jim Slattery's changed is his address," she said.
Slattery represented the 2nd congressional district for 12 years prior to running for governor in 1994. He lost that race to Bill Graves.
Slattery faces Lee Jones, an Overland Park railroad engineer, in the Democratic Party primary in August.
Roberts is seeking his third six-year term in the U.S. Senate. Prior to that, he served in the U.S. House and first worked in Washington in 1967.