SPECIAL: Kansas Governor Race

WICHITA, Kansas – The next race we’re looking at the Governor’s race.

In the lead for the GOP nomination is Governor Brownback, polling at 60%.

That is twice that of the challenger, Jennifer Winn polling at 30% in the latest KSN news poll.

 

 

 

Sam Brownback

Sam Brownback / Jeff Colyer (KSN graphic)
Sam Brownback / Jeff Colyer (KSN graphic)

Elected governor in 2011, Sam Brownback has clashed with some lawmakers over education spending.

His tenure in Topeka has been marked by tax breaks for businesses.

Brownback said he is trying to get the economy growing, and he said tax breaks is the way to make it happen.

Some lawmakers in his own party have questioned his stance on tax breaks.

“But our focus all along has been that the government has enough money. We need to see the people of Kansas have enough money and it will create more jobs,” said Brownback

Brownback has also been controversial while in office for not spending more on education.

Teacher groups and some in his own political party claim education has suffered under the Brownback administration.

Jennifer Winn

Candidate Profile Winn Lais
Jennifer Winn / Robin Lais (KSN graphic)

Winn owns and operates a landscape business in Wichita and said she wants to find a way to make education spending more efficient.

Jennifer Winn said she wants to level the playing field for small business in Kansas, by changing what she calls subsidies for big businesses and wants to see changes in the tax code to help the middle class.

“I want pay to play legislation. I don’t support corporate welfare in the way that we have given $1.1 billion to corporations,” said Winn.

She also has a plan to legalize growing hemp in Kansas, saying it would help Kansas farmers.

She wants to see more transparency in our government, especially in the governor’s office.

Winn does not have political experience, but said school finance needs big change.

KSN wanted to find out which issues voters cared the most about when it came to voting for governor.

Education funding leads the issues at 34%.

This has been a hot-button issue for several years, even ending in a lawsuit against the state, saying Kansas failed to adequately fund education.

It’s no surprise that the issue is polling high with voters as the most important reason to cast their vote.

Tax rates is a close second at 32%, and job recruitment, a distant third at 11%.

There is a democratic candidate in this race, Paul Davis.

Paul Davis

Candidate Profiles Davis Docking
Paul Davis / Jill Docking (KSN graphic)

Paul Davis is an attorney from Lawrence, who joined the Kansas House of Representatives in 2003.

He has been a policy chair and the house democratic leader for three years.

He’s been very vocal about wanting to spend more on education and said the Kansas economy is not growing because of tax cuts handed out by the current governor.

Davis has the backing of more than 100 Republicans who recently announced they are backing the Democrat from Lawrence.

“Well, I’ve got a 12 year record of bringing democrats and republicans together and building coalitions and I think we need to have somebody in the governor’s office who is committed to bi-partisanship,” said Davis.

Davis said schools have been cut too much, and wants more funding for K-12 education and said it’s time to change direction in Topeka with property taxes, sales taxes and utility rates all going up, while medium to large businesses have seen tax breaks under the current administration.
The big race is expected to be in November between Brownback and Davis.

The KSN news poll shows this one is going to be close.

Governor Brownback is behind. He’s polling at 40%, that’s 8 points behind the challenger, Democrat Paul Davis.

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