Author: Jerry

Tom Russell Jr. Bets $10,000 on the outcome of a reality TV show

Tom Russell Jr. Bets $10,000 on the outcome of a reality TV show

Drag-show uproar does a number in Kansas governor’s race

Topeka — The controversy that erupted today over a Kansas politician’s $10,000 bet on the outcome of a reality TV show could mark the beginning of a new political cycle in Kansas.

Two gubernatorial candidates who were running for a second term in November’s election were caught up in the controversy.


A local businessman, Tom Russell Jr., was the top finisher in the $10,000 cash-raiser held at a Topeka bar, where fans had a chance to win one of two $10,000 chips offered in a betting game. The goal was to get the most money from a raffle, and the best-dressed contestant would win the prize.

Russell’s opponent in the June 3 election was Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who ran against Russell for governor the previous year. Kobach was one of the nation’s leading anti-immigration hard-liners and has said that the federal government had no right to take over the Kansas health care exchange created to provide insurance for the state’s residents.


Kobach says the federal government violated Kansas’ immigration laws by creating the exchange by seizing control of health insurance contracts worth billions of dollars, according to The Associated Press. He also said President Barack Obama’s national health care law would create “a federal entitlement” for Kansas.

The winner of the raffle got one of two $10,000 chips, the prizes being donated to KERA, a local TV station that Russell was running for governor against Kobach. In the television station’s interview about the raffle, Kobach was quoted saying, “I have to admit, the winner looks pretty good. I think she might win.”

Russell’s campaign manager, John Goza, said that Russell wasn’t upset with Kobach’s remarks, but was

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