Kansas Democrats Upbeat About Governor's Race

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Kansas Democrats feel upbeat about their chances of unseating Republican Governor Sam Brownback this year as Democratic challenger Paul Davis makes school funding a major issue.

Several hundred Democratic officials and activists gathered Saturday for Washington Days, the party's biggest annual meeting.

Caucus meetings and speeches Saturday came a day after the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the state's school funding is unconstitutional. It directed lawmakers to improve aid to poor districts by July 1st and ordered more lower-court hearings on whether the state is spending enough money overall.

Prominent Democrats said the ruling validates Davis' arguments that the state isn't adequately funding schools.

But Kansas Republican Party Executive Director Clay Barker disagreed. He said parts of the decision focuses on educational outcomes, rather than just raw spending.