Candidates feud over letter distributed at churches

John Richmeier
Kevin Braun

The Democratic and Republican candidates for a local state Senate district each have posted online videos as they feud over copies of a letter that were distributed at area churches.

Jeff Pittman, a Leavenworth Democrat, said he is disappointed that churches have been used to make negative attacks against him.

Pittman’s opponent, Republican state Sen. Kevin Braun, Kansas City, Kansas, said he was not responsible for the letter. But he agrees with the contents of the letter.

The two men are facing each other in the race for the 5th District seat of the Kansas Senate. The 5th District includes the cities of Leavenworth and Lansing as well as a section of Wyandotte County.

Pittman currently is a member of the Kansas House of Representatives. The letter is reportedly critical of votes on abortion-related bills taken by Pittman in the House.

Copies of the letter were placed on windshields of vehicles parked Sunday outside of St. Joseph Church in Leavenworth. And additional copies were reportedly distributed around other Catholic churches in the 5th District.

Pittman posted a video on social media in which he accuses Braun supporters of the “lowest form of campaigning.”

In the video, Pittman accuses Braun supporters of going to churches to spread false narratives, mistruths and lies about his voting record.

“Shame on you Kevin Braun,” Pittman said in the video. “Shame on all the folks working on your campaign that think this is OK.”

Braun responded to what he said were unfair and untrue accusations in his own social media video.

“Neither I nor my campaign had anything to do with distributing this literature,” Braun said.

He said the letter was distributed by pro-life Christians. He said the letter was written by a Catholic parishioner from Leavenworth County.

“With that said, I fully support the contents of the letter,” Braun said in the video.

Braun says the letter focuses on his opponent’s voting record on abortion issues.

“A voting record does not lie,” Braun said in the video. “Anyone can look it up.”

Braun read a copy of the letter in his video.

The letter supports the reelection of Braun and praises the incumbent state senator for having a “100% pro-life voting record.”

In an interview with the Times, Pittman said the letter does not provide a complete picture of votes he has taken.

Pittman addressed his vote against a proposal known as the Value Them Both Amendment

Supporters of the proposed amendment to the state Constitution argue it would ensure legislators could regulate abortion in the state.

Pittman said he voted against the amendment because it did not include protections in cases in which a mother’s life may be in danger or cases involving the victims of rape or incest.

Pittman also took exception to an assertion that pro-abortion money is being used in an attempt to get him elected to the state Senate.

Pittman said it was disappointing that politics were brought to a place of worship.

Braun accused Pittman of trying to deflect from the real issue of the letter.

Braun also claims he has received threats of violence since Pittman’s video was posted on social media.

The election is Nov. 3.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR

Jeff Pittman