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GOP candidate’s dad steers cash into PAC attacking rival

July 8, 2020 GMT

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The father of a former Kansas Republican Party chairwoman who is seeking to unseat freshman Democratic Rep. Sharice Davids from her seat representing a Kansas City area swing district has contributed more than $100,000 to a super PAC airing ads attacking one of his daughter’s top rivals.

Federal Election Commission records show that Amanda Adkins’ father, Alan Landes, was the sole donor to the Heartland USA PAC as of March 31 after making two donations totaling $113,146, The Kansas City Star reports.

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This week, the PAC launched an ad campaign attacking fellow GOP candidate Sara Hart Weir, the former president and CEO of the National Down Syndrome Society. The PAC has paid for more than $166,000 in broadcast and cable airtime. It will file a report with the Federal Election Commission later this month that will reveal whether Landes was the source of the additional money to pay for the ads.

The ad centers on Weir’s work on behalf of former Democratic Rep. Dennis Moore’s campaign in 2004 as a recent college graduate and accuses her of posing as a Republican. Weir, who is 38, condemned the ad, which portrays her as a child, as sexist even as it seeks to boost another female candidate.

“Kansas families are hurting in the midst of a global pandemic, but instead of offering solutions, career insider Amanda Adkins chose to launch her campaign with a sexist ad financed by her father about what I did for a few weeks in the summer following my college graduation,” Weir said in a statement.

The ad also promotes the candidacy of Adkins, who is taking an unpaid leave from her job as an executive with medical computer systems firm Cerner Corp. Adkins, who is 45, previously managed Sam Brownback’s successful U.S. Senate re-election campaign in 2004 and was Kansas Republican Party chairwoman when Brownback was elected governor in 2010.

Adkins’ campaign did not respond to multiple phone calls and emails from The Star about the ad, but Adkins personally posted a response on Weir’s Facebook page Tuesday evening after Weir and her supporters had criticized the ad in a thread.

“MY FATHER was my conservative inspiration. A boy from from the farm, married 50 years, GOP family, built a successful local company into a national success. What say you?” Adkins wrote on Weir’s page in response to critics.

Neither Landes nor the PAC responded to questions about whether Landes remains the PAC’s sole donor. However, the PAC emailed The Star late Tuesday with copies of Weir’s past voter registration forms showing she was registered as Democrat in Kansas from 2000 to 2006 to back up of one of the claims in the ad.

Also competing in the August primary are former Roeland Park Mayor Adrienne Vallejo Foster, former state Rep. Tom Love and former Burns and McDonnell executive Mike Beehler.