Brownback wins race for Kansas governor

Kansas Republican candidates on Tuesday went on an historic sweep of victories in a campaign that focused on opposition to President Barack Obama. "A clean sweep for a new beginning," said Gov.-elect Sam Brownback. "No more Obama way. Now let's go the Kansas way," Brownback old about 300 people at the Republican Party celebration at the Capitol Plaza Hotel.

Brownback took the stage at 10 p.m. with his wife, Mary, and three of his five children. Lt. Gov.-elect Jeff Colyer and his family joined him.

"We still believe in American exceptionalism," Brownback said, adding that Kansas "is the heart of it."

Brownback told his supporters, "Have a great time tonight. The work begins tomorrow."

Democratic candidate Tom Holland, a state senator from Baldwin City, called Brownback earlier and congratulated him.

"In Congress, Senator Brownback has been a consistent advocate for human rights in Darfur, North Korea and around the globe," Holland said. "He's shown the world the compassion that all Kansans have for those in need."

Brownback was leading Holland 63 percent to 33 percent.

Earlier, U.S. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., who was not on the ballot, said "With Kansas leading the way tonight, we are going to get our America back."

Referring to Obama, Roberts said, "Yes he can? No he won't."

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger, who ran unopposed in winning a third term, said she was looking forward to working alongside a Republican governor.

"He wants to grow the economy," Praeger, a former Lawrence mayor and legislator, said of Brownback.

Brownback, attorney general-elect Derek Schmidt, secretary of state-elect Kris Kobach, treasurer-elect Ron Estes and Praeger were throwing the first GOP shutout of statewide offices since 1964.

Brownback will become the first social conservative Republican governor in state history.

Mark Parkinson, the former lieutenant governor who was elevated to the governor's office in 2009 when former governor Kathleen Sebelius joined Obama's cabinet, decided not to run.

Associated Press writer John Milburn contributed to this story.

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