Secretary of State
image of the Kansas Secretary of State seal
Memorial Hall, 1st Floor
120 SW 10th Avenue
Topeka, KS 66612-1594
(785) 296-4564


For Immediate Release
Monday, April 28, 2008

Contact Information
Stephanie Wing, Public Information Officer
Office of the Secretary of State
(785) 296-8571


BOSTON, MASS – Kansas Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh will join a group of experienced political, legal and academic professionals at the Institute of Politics (IOP) at Harvard Kennedy School on April 29 for a bipartisan symposium on the 2008 election cycle’s presidential primary process.

“I am pleased to join Democrats and Republicans in this important discussion aimed at identifying key challenges and offering possible improvements to our presidential nominating process,” said (Participant Name).

“The most glaring weakness of American democracy is the primary process,” said IOP Director and former U.S. Representative (R-IA) Jim Leach. “Problems experienced during this primary cycle only underscore the need for reform. That’s why we are looking forward to bringing a group of the most influential political practitioners to Harvard to examine what options exist to improve the presidential primary and caucus process.”

The first-of-its-kind, day-long event will gather Secretaries of State and other elected officials, political strategists, Democratic and Republican Party rules committee members and state-party chairs, congressional staff, members of the media, noted election law experts and governmental scholars to participate in an effort to consider improvements in the way future presidential nominating contests take place.

The agenda for the Harvard “Presidential Primary Symposium,” developed in consultation with the National Association of Secretaries of State, will include sessions moderated by some of today’s top political journalists. The sessions will examine the 2008 presidential primary schedule, plans and alternatives for changing the nominating process, constitutional limitations and other challenges to implementation, and future primaries and caucuses.

The Institute plans to publish a transcript of the sessions’ conversations and will release a white paper outlining possible recommendations on improving the presidential primary process.


Harvard University’s Institute of Politics (IOP), located at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, was established in 1966 as a memorial to President Kennedy. The IOP’s mission is to unite and engage students, particularly undergraduates, with academics, politicians, activists, and policymakers on a non-partisan basis and to stimulate and nurture their interest in public service and leadership. The Institute strives to promote greater understanding and cooperation between the academic world and the world of politics and public affairs. More information is available online at