Sam Brownback Background
University of Kansas, J.D., 1982
Kansas State University, B.A., 1979
Formally withdrew candidacy Oct. 19, 2007.Endorsed candidacy of John McCain, Nov. 7, 2007.
U.S. Senator from Kansas, 1997-present
U.S. Representative from Kansas, 1995-1996
White House Fellow detailed to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, 1990-1991
Kansas Secretary of Agriculture, 1986-1993
Attorney, Manhattan, Kan., 1982-1986
Spouse: Mary Stauffer Brownback
Children: Elizabeth Brownback, Andy Brownback, Abby Brownback, Mark Brownback, Jenna Brownback
Oct. 19, 2007
Sen. Brownback Backs Out of GOP Presidential Race
Oct. 18, 2007
Q&A: Sam Brownback
Dec. 11, 2006
The New Republic
Aug. 7, 2006
Mr. Compassionate Conservative
The Weekly Standard
June 7, 2006
The Washington Post
Jan. 25, 2006
June 12, 2005
Brownback's Plans for 2008
Brownback Religious Biography
In His Own Words
"It's hard to understand Americans without understanding faith. A country that walks away from God walks away from its own future. This is something that unites the country. It does not divide."
Interview, March 2007
Brownback grew up attending a United Methodist congregation – the only church in Parker, Kan. – and continued to attend mainline churches until a series of events rerouted his religious journey. He says a pivotal moment came in 1995 when he was diagnosed with cancer and had surgery to remove a tumor, prompting him to trust God "a lot more." Attracted by youth programs for their five children, the Brownbacks began attending the nondenominational and evangelical Topeka Bible Church in 2001.
At the same time, Brownback was in the midst of several years of study and prayer about Roman Catholicism. Feeling a "real deep calling," he converted to Catholicism in 2002, even through his family did not. Brownback currently attends Mass early each Sunday before joining his family at Topeka Bible Church.
Brownback says his fight with cancer also drove him to literally burn his resume and start focusing on political issues such as poverty, AIDS in Africa, human trafficking and race relations. He began to model his political life after William Wilberforce, an early 19th-century evangelical and member of the British Parliament. In March 2006, The Economistdubbed Brownback the "Wilberforce Republican."
Brownback chairs weekly meetings of the Values Action Team, a group of representatives from 30 to 40 socially conservative political organizations, such as the Family Research Council and the Christian Coalition. He is also active in The Fellowship, a secretive religious network dedicated to working behind the scenes to influence current events. Brownback participates in a weekly "prayer cell" that includes other members of Congress, and at one point he lived with several congressmen in a Capitol Hill townhouse subsidized by The Fellowship.
If nominated, Brownback would be the fourth Roman Catholic to win a presidential nomination and the first Catholic Republican to do so. If elected, he would be the second Catholic president, following John F. Kennedy.
Sept. 6, 2007
Clinton and Giuliani Seen as Not Highly Religious; Romney's Religion Raises Concerns
A September survey finds that religion is not proving to be a clear-cut positive in the 2008 presidential campaign. The candidates viewed by voters as the least religious among the leading contenders are front-runners Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani, while voters still express concern about Mitt Romney's Mormon faith. Read more about the 2008 election and religion.
Read the report
June 18, 2007
Analysis of Candidates' Potential Support among Religious Groups
A survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press examines potential support for the Democratic presidential candidates among Democratic and Democratic-leaning members of two religious groups: white Catholics and white mainline Protestants.