By EARL WATT
• Daily Leader
While the race for the U.S. Senate between Todd Tiahrt and Jerry Moran has gone negative, a softer side of the campaign came to Liberal last week when the wives of the candidates made stops in Liberal to discuss the race.
Vicki Tiahrt and Robba Moran may have as much political ability to run for office as their husbands. Savvy on the issues and friendly with the voters, both talked about Tuesday’s primary, and while many pundits have said that there is little difference between the Moran and Tiahrt's voting records, their wives know the differences.
“Todd has never voted for a tax increase,” Vicki Tiahrt said. “His opponent has voted for a tax increase 12 times.”
Robba Moran pointed out that her husband comes back to Kansas every weekend while Tiahrt has chosen to live near Washington, D.C.
“Government people in Washington become your circle of friends if you live there,” Robba Moran said. “Then you retire and become a lobbyist. That didn’t interest us.”
When it comes to the characterization of the type of senator each would be, their wives also shared two different styles.
“You have to build coalitions,” Robba Moran said. “Those coalitions are based on Republican principles, a free market, less regulations on small business. Jerry is good at that.”
According to Vicki Tiahrt, her husband takes a different approach.
“Todd is a fighter,” she said. “He has a staff that develops legislation, and because of that, we’ve got Tiahrt amendments.”
Otherwise, the candidates’ wives pointed out similarities in policy. Both want stricter border security. Both do not favor amnesty. Both oppose Obamacare.
Both have had high profile endorsements. Former presidential candidate John McCain has endorsed Moran while vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has endorsed Tiahrt.
The primary will decide the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate seat, and it is highly likely that whoever wins will become the next Senator from Kansas.
The primary takes place in Seward County beginning at 7 a.m. Tuesday at the Seward County Activity Center. Polls close at 7 p.m.