Publisher Steve Rose exits 3rd District race

Friday, September 25, 2009 | 3:38 p.m. CDT

KANSAS CITY — A week after entering the race for Kansas' 3rd Congressional District, newspaper publisher Steve Rose said Friday he was dropping out because of health problems.

Rose, the longtime publisher of the Johnson County Sun, made the announcement in an e-mail to supporters, The Kansas City Star reported. He didn't immediately return a phone call from The Associated Press on Friday seeking comment.

In the e-mail, Rose said he was quitting on the advice of his gastroenterologist, saying the campaign is exacerbating his Crohn's disease, a painful digestive condition that he said he's had for more than 40 years.

"It has been dormant for the past ten," the 61-year-old wrote. "In the past 10 days, however, under the extraordinary stress of the campaign, I have had a major flare-up.

"I won't go into the gory details of inflammatory bowel disease, but suffice it to say I have lost a lot of blood and seven pounds in that short period. The doctor says if I keep it up, I can look forward possibly to surgery."

Rose announced on Sept. 16 that he planned to run as a Republican against Democrat Dennis Moore, whom he previously endorsed in his newspaper. But he said the six-term incumbent had changed and was voting too often to support the Obama administration's "far-left" agenda.

In his e-mail, Rose sought to allay the perception he was abandoning the race because he didn't believe he could win.

He said he had raised $72,000 in campaign contributions in nine days and contributors had promised an additional $32,000. He also said a survey showed he had positive name recognition among potential Republican voters.

"This combined $104,000 commitment, for both the primary and general elections, may be a record in such a short period," he wrote. "That, plus my own commitment of $250,000 would have put us way ahead of any opponent or prospective opponent."

Rose said he will return the contributions and personally pay any campaign expenses.

Former state Rep. Patricia Lightner is the only other Republican in the race.


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