Candidate Profile from Congressional QuarterlyDennis Moore (D) of Lenexa
Moore won this normally Republican district in the suburbs of Kansas City, Mo., by campaigning as a "moderate" in the tradition of former Sens. Bob Dole and Nancy Kassebaum and the Republicans who held the House seat for three decades, Larry Winn Jr. and Jan Meyers. "They were perceived in Kansas as keeping with the moderate tradition," Moore said, while freshman Vince Snowbarger was "taking the district on a hard turn to the right."
A native Kansan, Moore has been active in Democratic politics since 1976, when he recruited himself at the last minute and was elected Johnson County prosecutor. "I was told I did not have a chance in a Republican county," he said, the same message he heard before challenging Snowbarger.
Moore says he is particularly concerned with preserving and strengthening Social Security, perhaps by allowing some payroll taxes for the program to be invested in the markets an idea generally associated with the GOP.
Another increasingly partisan issue in Congress, gun control, saw unusual alliances in Kansas this year. Moore backed Republican Gov. Bill Graves' veto of legislation that would have allowed concealed handguns in shopping centers and restaurants. Snowbarger backed the bill.
Moore says he will refrain from judging whether President Clinton should be impeached until the Judiciary Committee has finished its deliberations.
Many of the issues on which Moore focused his campaign are in the purview of the Judiciary and Commerce committees, but he says he has not contemplated which assignments to seek. "My only interest in the last months was winning this campaign," he said.