Jacob gains support of women’s caucus

Friday, July 9, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 4:43 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Greater Kansas City Women’s Political Caucus, the second largest women’s political caucus in the country, has endorsed Ken Jacob as its choice for lieutenant governor.

Jacob, who will face Bekki Cook in the August primary, has worked as a state legislator for 22 years. His experience earned him the endorsement, said Jan Marcason, president of the caucus.

“The decision was really based on what we saw as the key role of the lieutenant governor position, which is leading the Senate,” Marcason said. “We thought because of his being there he could do a better job of that.”

Cook, who spent six years as secretary of state, said she does not believe that losing the endorsement will hurt her campaign.

“That was one of those things that probably appears to be worse than it was,” Cook said. “They were just really interested in backing a pro-choice candidate, and they had a long-running, good relationship with Ken.”

The Kansas City group is one of only two women’s political caucuses in the country to endorse male candidates, according to Marcason.

“Our preference is for the woman, if they are equally qualified,” Marcason said. “That’s really what this came down to — for the committee to decide if the candidates were equally qualified.”

Jacob said he believes that his legislative experience will give him an edge come voting time.

“It’s easier to deal with people you’ve dealt with before,” Jacob said. “There’s no substitute for experience.”

However, Cook believes her experience holding statewide office is central to her campaign.

“Ken has a relationship with a lot of interest groups, and that’s his advantage,” she said. “I know so many people across the state, that’s mine. I’ll take mine any day.”

Also on the ballot for lieutenant governor will be Republicans Peter Kinder and Patricia Secrest and Libertarian Mike Ferguson.

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