Former FHSU president responds to GOP’s use of quote

Following nationwide headlines of an alleged endorsement by the Kansas State University football coach Bill Snyder for the Republican incumbent Pat Roberts’ senatorial campaign, comes another troubling allegation for the Kansas Republican Party from higher ed, this time a lot closer to home.

In a mailer sent out by the Kansas Republican Party endorsing incumbent Governor Sam Brownback, Former Fort Hays State University President Edward Hammond’s picture and quote was prominently featured. Both the image and quote were used without permission, according to a brief statement made by Hammond.

“I am sorry to be communicating in this manner; however, I am in China on university business,” Hammond said in the statement. “I was made aware of a political flyer from the Kansas Republican Party endorsing Governor Brownback which had my image and a quote from me. It is university policy that state employees may not officially endorse a candidate in any election. During my tenure as president of Fort Hays State University and in my current role as president-emeritus, I have never endorsed a political candidate in an election and I am not endorsing any candidate now. No one asked for my permission to use my image, nor my words on this specific campaign mailer and I feel it is important that the public knows any such use of said images or words does not constitute an endorsement from me.”

Both Hammond and his wife, Mary, are currently in China following a statewide media tour with current FHSU President Mirta Martin. FHSU has strong ties to several universities in China.

Mary Hammond also addressed the mailer on her facebook page.

“A campaign flyer/mailer was sent recently by the Kansas Republican Party endorsing Governor Brownback,” Mary Hammond said. “This campaign piece had Ed Hammond’s image & a quote from Ed. What disturbs us is that Ed was never contacted by the campaign or party asking for his permission and he wants to make it very clear, he is NOT endorsing any candidate in this election.”

It is against university policy for any state employee to endorse any candidate.

It is unclear at this time what further actions Hammond or FHSU may take in response to the ad, but in Snyder’s case both KSU and himself have publicly asked to campaign to pull the ad, which is still airing at this time.

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