Daily Archives: Oct. 16, 2009

Gates closes door on run for governor



State Democratic Party Chairman Larry Gates announced today that he won’t be a candidate for governor.

Gates, an attorney and president of Rockgate Management, a hospitality firm, said he couldn’t leave his business to campaign.

“We owe it to our investors, our loyal employees, our customers and our family to give our fullest attention to weathering this severe business downturn,” Gates said in a letter to supporters that was released by the party. “I would owe it to … all Kansans to run an aggressive, full-time campaign on the issues. The reality is, I cannot do both.”

With a little more than a year to go to the 2010 election, Democrats have yet to find a solid candidate to oppose Sen. Sam Brownback, the presumptive Republican nominee.

Former Lt. Gov. John Moore of Wichita and Sen. Chris Steineger of Kansas City have expressed interest, but neither has announced a formal campaign for the Democratic nomination.

Party spokesman Tyler Longpine said Gates will be speaking with some potential candidates who are considering running but stood aside awaiting Gates’ decision.

“From among those individuals a great nominee will emerge to challenge the Washington insider whose campaign advisors would have you believe this race is over,” Gates said in his letter. “The reality is the campaign has yet to begin.”

City advances plan to lease 21st Street building to The Lord’s Diner

The Lord's DinerThe city is pressing on with a controversial plan to lease the former Boys and Girls Club on 21st Street near Grove to The Lord’s Diner for a satellite location.

Wichita City Council members will vote next Tuesday whether to have a public hearing on the idea Nov. 3.  The plan calls for The Lord’s Diner to pay the city $15,000 a year for the 18,414 square foot building. The Diner would have an option to buy it at anytime.

The place was recently appraised at $150,000, and it is in fairly rough shape. The Diner would pay for repairs.