Sam Brownback Announces Presidential Bid
Brownback's supporters say the party's better-known contenders -- Arizona Sen. John McCain, former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney -- offer weaker platforms for voters who strongly oppose abortion, same-sex marriage and stem cell research.
"There are really two primaries taking place simultaneously in the Republican party," said Gary Bauer, the family values activist who ran for president in 2000. "One, for center-left candidates, is being fought out between Giuliani and Senator McCain. On the conservative side, nobody has captured that crown yet, but Senator Brownback will be a major competitor". . . .Brownback's Senate campaign account has $600,000 as he starts his fundraising drive. A key to his campaign's financial strength may rest with Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino's Pizza and a Roman Catholic philanthropist who started Legatus, a lay group of wealthy conservative business executives. Monaghan has been serving as a top adviser to Brownback's campaign.
The senator's chances may ultimately depend on his ability to ignite Christian conservatives, said John Green, senior fellow with the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Religious activists "don't have a consensus candidate yet," he said, but Brownback is one "they're certainly paying a lot of attention to."