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Sen. Brownback joins presidential race

January 21, 2007|From the Associated Press

TOPEKA, KAN. — Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas jumped into the 2008 presidential race Saturday, a favorite of the religious right now in a battle against better-known rivals for the GOP nomination.

"My family and I are taking the first steps on the yellow brick road to the White House. It's a great journey," the two-term senator told hundreds of supporters. He pledged to fight for the nation's cultural values and to focus on rebuilding families.

The 50-year-old Brownback offers himself as a "full-scale Ronald Reagan conservative."

After Saturday's speech, he told reporters: "My positions are at the heart of where the Republican Party is. I'm willing to take those positions with all comers."

Brownback's announcement, planned weeks ago, came hours after Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) entered her party's 2008 race.

"I don't know why she did that. I guess she's scared of me," Brownback said.

Though he is on solid footing on social issues, Brownback has broken with some Republicans on the Iraq war and immigration. He opposes sending more troops to Iraq and favors a path to citizenship for some of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S.

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Crowded field

An unusually large number of candidates is lining up for the 2008 presidential race.

Democrats

Declared candidacy or created exploratory committee:

* Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.)

* Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.)

* Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (Conn.)

* Former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.)

* Former Sen. Mike Gravel (Alaska)

* Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (Ohio)

* Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.)

* Former Gov. Tom Vilsack (Iowa)

Considering a run:

* Retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark

* Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.)

* Gov. Bill Richardson (N.M.) (Expected to announce today his intention to set up an exploratory committee)

* Rev. Al Sharpton (N.Y.)

Republicans

Declared candidacy or created exploratory committee:

* Sen. Sam Brownback (Kan.)

* Former Gov. James S. Gilmore (Va.)

* Former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani (N.Y.)

* Rep. Duncan Hunter (El Cajon)

* Sen. John McCain (Ariz.)

* Rep. Ron Paul (Texas)

* Former Gov. Mitt Romney (Mass.)

* Rep. Tom Tancredo (Colo.)

* Former Gov. Tommy Thompson (Wis.)

Considering a run:

* Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.)

* Sen. Chuck Hagel (Neb.)

* Former Gov. Mike Huckabee (Ark.)

* Former Gov. George Pataki (N.Y.)

Source: Candidate statements

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