Kan. Attorney General Phil Kline’s Advisor Resigns

October 1, 2006

Embroiled in a bitter re-election campaign, Attorney General Phill Kline on Friday lost one of his key legal and political advisers when Bob Stephan, a former Kansas attorney general, announced his resignation.

Stephan, who served as a special assistant attorney general to Kline, sent news of his resignation in a letter, citing personal reasons.

Stephan declined to say whether he supported Kline’s campaign against Democratic challenger Paul Morrison. He said only that he was concentrating his efforts on the re-election of Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger.

“About the only thing I can say is that I’m chairing Sandy Praeger’s campaign,” Stephan said.”That’s the only campaign I have focused on. I haven’t focused on the attorney general or any other race.”

Sherriene Jones, a spokeswoman for Kline, said the attorney general was attending an out-of-state funeral of a family member. She said Kline appreciated Stephan’s work, but she offered no reason for his sudden resignation.

Stephan, who was attorney general from 1979 to 1995, helped Kline’s transition into the office in 2003 and assisted on several high-profile issues.

He was a vocal supporter of Kline and successfully defended him before the Kansas Supreme Court last year, when abortion clinics whose medical records Kline sought made contempt of court allegations against him.

But the two Republicans have also disagreed over the years.

In 2005, Kline said he acted on a House-approved resolution in suing Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to prohibit state-funded abortions. Stephan had earlier said the resolution was moot because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that a woman has a right to an abortion.

Topics Kansas

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