Wentworth says negative campaign 'backfired'

Senator sees issue-oriented campaign

Author: Paul Venema, Reporter, pvenema@ksat.com
Published On: May 30 2012 04:52:05 PM CDT   Updated On: May 30 2012 05:32:09 PM CDT

Republican State Sen. Jeff Wentworth will be facing an unexpected opponent in the run-off election for his Senate seat.

Dr. Donna Campbell, a political novice, finished second behind Wentworth in Tuesday’s primary election.

She ran a grass roots campaign and stayed above the fray between Wentworth and challenger Elizabeth Ames Jones.

The two exchanged a series of harsh attacks in television spots during the campaign.

Wentworth said his spots were in response to what he called “outright lies” in Jones’ TV spots.

At one point during the campaign, Wentworth even filed an anti-defamation suit against Jones.

“She accomplished her first objective and that was to deny me an outright win yesterday,” Wentworth said Wednesday. “What she didn’t count on was the backfire. Voters really don’t like that kind of negative campaigning.”

Wentworth and Campbell will face off for the Republican nomination to the seat in a runoff election on July 31 in what Wentworth said would be much different type of campaign.

He said, “Campbell and I have talked about that and we’re going to have an issue oriented campaign.”

The winner of the July runoff will face Democrat John Courage in the November general election.