KS-Gov: Businessman Tom Wiggans will challenge Brownback

Kansas Democrats are on their way to presenting the strongest slate of candidates in years with respected businessman Tom Wiggans‘ announcement that he will run for Governor. Wiggans, a native Kansan, will run against career politician, and well known right-wing Republican, Sam Brownback.

From his bio:

Tom Wiggans is committed to applying his vast business experience to Kansas state government as our next Governor. By utilizing his common sense business practices to bring people together and solve problems, Tom will work with both Democrats and Republicans to pull our state out of the economic recession, ensure we have a stable state budget, and create 21st century jobs for our future.

His campaign has also put together a bio video which you can see here.

More about Tom Wiggans and his campaign below the fold.

Tom is exactly what Kansas voters need right now. A successful businessman who isn’t going to let rigid ideology guide his decisions. Our state has been hit hard by these challenging economic times. Tom has the vision and experience to weather the economic storm, create 21st century jobs and improve our schools. If you’d like to learn more, or get involved you can check out his website here.

From his bio, here are some other interesting facts about Tom Wiggans:

  • Born and raised in Fredonia in Wilson County, Kansas
  • Tom lives in Olathe, KS with his wife Kathryn and two teenage daughters
  • Tom is the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Peplin, a bioscience company developing a product for skin cancer and other serious skin diseases
  • Served as a Page to Representative Clyde Hill
  • Graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmacy
  • Member of the board of Trustees of the University of Kansas Endowment Association
  • As usual, I will continue to update you on the political scene in Kansas and how you can get involved with the party and campaigns. If you’re interested in helping today, here’s some easy things to do:

    Tom’s website launched today and you can get involved by clicking here.

    Click here to introduce Tom on Twitter:

    Big news: Businessman Tom Wiggans has announced his campaign for Governor. Get involved: bit.ly/3MoU1X (Please RT!)

    Click here to introduce Tom on Facebook:

    Tell your Facebook friends to get involved with Tom’s campaign for Governor!

    Thanks for your continued support.

    Full disclosure: I work for the Kansas Democratic Party.

    NE-Sen: Help Scott Kleeb – $1,500 by the end of the day!

    We are so close to reaching our daily goal of $1,500 for Scott! We already have $1,200 – and I know that we can we reach our goal!

    We have had people donate $5, $20, $500, etc… Every little bit truely counts, small donors will make the difference in this campaign. Donate whatever you can spare.

    This is your campaign, so help US win this race by buying a piece of the campaign today.

    I want to share with you something that Scott wrote on his website that really touched me:

    We can either demand more of ourselves and our leaders, or we can settle for more of the same. We can demand new ideas that uphold our finest and oldest traditions, or we can settle for the same failed old policies. We can stand up, together, and have a say about our future or we can put our future in the same old hands that got us where we are today. Others expect apathy. They expect us not to care. They expect us to settle for the same old thing.

    They are in for a big surprise this year.

    Yes they are. But only if get involved and demand more from our candidates.

    Help us elect a real leader in this election – donate today!

    Also, check out Scott’s live interview on the local news.

    NE-Sen: WE. DID. IT.

    My good friend Ryan Anderson has the story on New Nebraska Network:

    I just got off the phone with Scott Kleeb, who is headed East on I-80 towards the fight of his political life: “I’m going to Lincoln tomorrow to file for the United States Senate,” he told me.  “It’s just the first step in what’s going to be a long and hard fought campaign, but I will be taking that first step tomorrow.”

    We did it, no….you did it! You got involved in our campaign. From the beginning, this is what Draft Kleeb was about – it was about you, it about us, it was about building a better Nebraska. We set out to do away with the smoke filled room and WE drafted OUR candidate into this race.

    But there is so much more to do! Let us affirm that this is our campaign by buying a piece of it today. A donation today will go to helping build a stronger Democratic majority in Washington, and to help rebuild the Democratic Party in Nebraska.

    Here is the link to the donations page I have set through ActBlue.

    Scott will face a primary challenge from failed Bush nominee Tony Raimondo (who switched parties just weeks before he announced a run for Senate, and a month after ending his Republican campaign for Senate) and the general election fight with Former Governor Mike Johanns.

    Now thing about it, how often to we get a chance to beat not one, but TWO Republicans in one race! It can, and will be done – but not without your help.

    Click here to buy a piece of this people powered campaign!

    Also, take a look at Scott’s amazing new website, his Logo contest, and his Facebook page.

    Ryan mentions this in his post, but I will be heading down to Lincoln to live blog Scott’s filing and informing people about how the process works. I will have a post up before I leave around 7 a.m. Central. Thank you all of your help in this campaign!

    P.S. Donate!

    NE-02: Rep. Terry announces re-election campaign

    Omaha World Herald reports:

    Rep. Lee Terry apparently wants two more years in Congress.

    The Omaha Republican will discuss his “re-election intentions” at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Omaha Police Union Hall.

    Terry first ran for Congress in 1998, defeating Democrat Michael Scott by 32 percentage points. In his most recent re-election bid, in 2006, Terry won with 55 percent of the vote against Democrat Jim Esch.

    Terry recently held a Washington fundraiser and said that was a good indicator of his political plans.

    The 2nd Congressional District encompasses Douglas County and much of northern and eastern Sarpy County.

    Congressman Terry did in fact announce his intentions for another term in Congress. He promised his supporters that this year he would be on his “A” game and suggested that last cycle his campaign was not prepared when he faced Democrat Jim Esch.

    As I reported yesterday, Richard Carter, a  Captain in the Air Force Reserve and an economics professor, addressed the Sarpy County Democratic Caucus and announced his candidacy for United States Congress. He told the Sarpy County caucus goers:

    “With all of the problems that we face, it would have been easy for us to throw our hands up in disgust, to become cynical, to withdraw from the political process. But all of us here today have refused to do that. We know there is too much at stake for us to sit on the sidelines. It is time for a new generation of leadership to step forward-and actually lead. Therefore, I, Richard Carter, declare my candidacy for the United States Congress.”

    Congressman Terry plan to be on his “A” game and so do we. But we need your help. I don’t need to tell you how important this election this, so please click here to find out how to get involved.

    If you can spare it, a contribution of $25 can go a long way in helping us get this campaign moving.

    Also feel free to check out our brand new website and sign up for email updates! Thank you once again for your early support.

    NE-02: Richard Carter Declares Candidacy for Congress

    Today, Richard Carter, a Captain in the Air Force Reserve and an economics professor, addressed the Sarpy County Democratic Caucus and announced his candidacy for United States Congress:

    “With all of the problems that we face, it would have been easy for us to throw our hands up in disgust, to become cynical, to withdraw from the political process. But all of us here today have refused to do that. We know there is too much at stake for us to sit on the sidelines. It is time for a new generation of leadership to step forward-and actually lead. Therefore, I, Richard Carter, declare my candidacy for the United States Congress.”

    With Richard’s announcement comes the launch of our new website. Check it out at RichardCarter2008.com. You can find out how to get involved with the campaign and learn more about Richard and his positions on various issues.

    We have also set up our ActBlue page for those that would like to donate to the Richard Carter Congressional campaign.

    Thank you for your early support.

    Show the DSCC! Help boost Draft Kleeb pledge numbers!

    As discussed yesterday, Scott Kleeb told Nebraska TV that he will be meeting with national Democratic Party leaders this next week to gauge his support in D.C. I am assuming, most importantly, that Scott will be meeting with the DSCC leadership. The DSCC will be pledging an unknown amount of money and resources to Scott’s potential Senate candidacy and we need to make sure the Washington support is as big as possible.

    The DSCC will undoubtedly gauge Scott’s chances by looking at his support, not just in Nebraska from the Netroots as well. Which is why I ask for your help today.

    Draft Kleeb has been sponsoring a pledge drive (PLEDGE for KLEEB) where Kleeb supporters from around the state of Nebraska can pledge their support to our potential candidate. Now we are turning to the netroots for help as well.

    Please take the time to head to our PLEDGE DRIVE site and fill out the information. If you can spare it, pledge $5-$10-$15-whatever amount and please pledge some volunteer hours. Even if you live outside of Nebraska you can still play a role in this campaign. Or at the vary least, simply pledge your support – the DSCC needs to know that Scott has the support to win this race. It won’t be easy, but it is possible!

    PLEDGE for KLEEB today!

    Thank you for your continued support!

    NE-Sen: Scott Kleeb – “Starting today, we’re on full time.”

    From Nebraska TV:

    Some traveled a few hours to be here, and others are running for state legislature in their district.

    Saturday was about networking and developing a strategy to get Democrats excited about the state presidential caucus coming up, and more awareness in the third district.

    “We want the 3rd district to move,” one Democrat announced to the crowd.

    Move to reach rural communities and young people whom party members say their district is losing.

    “I see the 3rd district floundering,” Lisa Hannah said, a local Democrat considering running for state legislature.  “The next census we could end up losing our district.”

    Lisa Hannah used to be a Republican, but experience with national Democratic leaders and concern for her community changed her mind.

    “I see the Democratic party as moving forward.”

    She may run for state legislature but her goal now is to network by sharing ideas with fellow Democrats like Kate Sullivan.  She’s running for the 41st district.

    “I care for rural populations. They continue to decline,” she said.

    Both women show concern for  rural areas, and they share high hopes for Nebraska with everyone else at the meeting, especially with the presidential caucus coming up.

    With the possibility of Scott Kleeb running for office, that’s enough to bring these folks to their feet.

    “Starting today, we’re on full time,” Kleeb said.

    Kleeb says he’ll be very involved in the third district, but says he has not decided if he will run yet.  He’s meeting with party leaders in Washington D.C. next week, and said he’ll make a decision in the next two weeks.  He says family time and raising enough campaign money are big factors in his decision.

    First of all, I am delighted to see Democrats getting active in the 3rd District. Using Scott’s 2006 Congressional race as a model, Democrats should be able to make some progress in one of the most conservative districts in the nation.

    Second, I am glad to hear that Scott is meeting with party leaders next week. That is a major step in the direction of a U.S. Senate race. We can only hope that said national leaders (I’m betting Chuck Shumer is one of them) pledge to help Scott as so many other activists have done through Draft Kleeb’s Pledge Drive.

    So how can we make sure that national Democrats give Scott the resources he needs to win this race? By pledging ourselves! I am convinced that someone at the DSCC looks at this website and probably checks the pledge drive…so we must boost our numbers for Scott!

    So what are you waiting for? PLEDGE volunteer hours. PLEDGE contributions. Or just PLEDGE your support to Scott! We have gotten this far together, all we need to do is cross that finish line! PLEDGE for KLEEB today!

    NE-Sen: Draft Scott Kleeb for U.S. Senate Welcomes Tony Raimondo to the Democratic Party

    The following press release was sent to local media Friday morning:


    OMAHA – Draft Kleeb would like to welcome the newest member of the Democratic Party in Nebraska, Columbus Industrialist Tony Raimondo, with congratulations and open arms.

    “The Democratic Party is the party of the people and must welcome all those disenfranchised by the GOP,” said DraftKleeb.com editor Mike Nellis.  “I congratulate Tony for seeing the light so quickly after ending his bid for the Republican Senate nomination.  We can only hope that the Nebraska Democratic Party will spend as much time recruiting other disenfranchised Republicans as they did Mr. Raimondo.”

    Draft Kleeb has also seen its fair share of good news this week.  Scott Kleeb released a video on his website (can be seen here) challenging voters to make the Senate race their own, and PLEDGE for KLEEB numbers have reached outstanding levels.  (78 people have pledged 1,782 hours or 222 working days, and over $18,000)

    Those pledged include: Nebraska Young Democrats President, Kyle Michaelis; Phelps County Democratic Party Chair, Brian Osborn; NewNebraska.net lead blogger, Ryan Anderson; Executive Director of Panhandle Community Services, Janice Fitts; and Adjunct Instructor at Metro Community College, Joe Cunningham.

    “It’s time to take a stand against conventional insider politics.  The Nebraska Republican Party, lead by Senate candidate Mike Johanns, has forgotten that democracy is a test of leadership, not a show of power.  We urge disenfranchised Republicans like Tony Raimondo to take a stand against this kind of politics by stepping forward to PLEDGE for KLEEB.”

    Draft Kleeb is an independent organization hoping to convince Scott Kleeb to run for Senate in Nebraska.   It is not authorized by Scott Kleeb, his campaign, any campaign committee, or any political party.

    It’s time we take control of our party.  It’s time we make this campaign ours.  We have a chance to do that in 2008 — let’s not pass that up!  You never know when it will happen again.

    So what are you waiting for?  PLEDGE for KLEEB and make this campaign yours!


    This has been a great week for the Draft Kleeb movement.  A New Nebraska is just on the horizon, but we can not stop yet…

    PLEDGE for KLEEB numbers so far…

    70 people have pledged…

  • …1,551 hours (194+ working days)
  • …$12,920 to date
  • The heavy hand of Washington is trying to shape Nebraska politics on both sides of the aisle, and we need you to help us show them who’s really in charge of our democracy!  Help us reach 75 people, 200 working days (eight hours) in 24 hours and take a stand against conventional Washington politics.

    That only takes 5 people to put this campaign on their shoulders.

    As Scott recently said, this is “our choice – and a choice we have to make together!”

    This campaign is about you and will be succesful if you step forward and hoist this campaign on your shoulders!

    So what are you waiting for?  PLEDGE for KLEEB today!

    NE-Sen: Scott Kleeb: This is “our choice — and a choice we have to make together!”

    In case you haven’t seen it yet, today’s big news is that Scott Kleeb posted a video on his website laying down a challenge to voters and activists to make this race their own.  Click here to see the video.

    While Scott stops short of an announcement, he certainly puts gasoline on the Senate race fire.  Making our DraftKleeb.com movement ever more important.  Already, Nebraskans from across our great state have stood up for this campaign by pledging volunteer hours and donations.  Many have choosen to put what I call a “down payment” on this campaign by donating as little as $5 through our ActBlue page.  

    I thank everyone who has stepped forward for a New Nebraska, but I now come to you asking for more.

    Your help has been instrumental to our campaign.  We have fought against traditional party politics since the beginning.  Mike Johanns and Tony Raimondo, lifelong Republican, symbolize the same old politics we have come to know and loathe.  My friends this is truely people powered politics which is why I ask you today to become a DraftKleeb.com people powered lobbyist.

    What is a people powered lobbyist you ask?  It is you!  It is someone who is tired of conventional politics and wants to put real leadership in Washington.  But is also someone who takes action.  Here is what you can do:

    If you haven’t already, PLEDGE for KLEEB.  Let Scott know you are ready to hoist this campaign on your shoulders by pledging your time and contributions to his eventual Senate campaign.

    Next, put that down payment on Scott’s campaign.  It is unfortunate how important money is in politics, but we are going to have raise money from the grassroots up in this campaign.  That starts with you.

    But your role as a DraftKleeb.com people powered lobbyist goes far beyond just volunteer hours and donations.  I ask you to become an extension of this campaign.  As Scott said in his video, this is “our choice — and a choice we have to make together!”  This means we must become the campaign.  Talk to your friends, neighbors, family members, co-workers, ect… and get them to pledge for Scott Kleeb. Lead them to the websites, tell them how Scott is the future of Nebraska politics, and empower them to take action in this campaign as you have. But most importantly, tell them that is their campaign, tell them is your campaign, tell them that people power can defeat conventional party politics everyday of the week and twice on Sundays!

    Paul Wellstone once said, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for!”  It’s time we live up to that grand credo and stand up for democracy in Nebraska.