TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) A leading Democratic candidate for Kansas governor accused a rival with an antiabortion past of trying to mislead voters after he said during a televised forum Wednesday night that he would support women’s rights to make their own health care decisions.
The exchange between state Sen. Laura Kelly, of Topeka, who has a strong abortion-rights voting record, and former Kansas Agriculture Secretary Joshua Svaty illustrated the importance of abortion as an issue for many Democrats. The third major candidate in the Aug. 7 primary race is former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer, also a strong supporter of abortion rights.
Svaty represented a rural, GOP-leaning central Kansas district in the state House for nearly seven years before becoming agriculture secretary in August 2009. He voted consistently for anti-abortion measures as a lawmaker but has said he would veto any new restrictions if elected governor.