TOPEKA, Kansas — The campaign for the Kansas governor’s mansion is heating up across the state.
KSN looked into the strategies driving both campaigns and how incumbent Republican Governor Sam Brownback could benefit from a Democratic boost.
Gov. Sam Brownback and Democratic challenger Paul Davis spent time Friday in Topeka. Events attended by both candidates may indicate that this race is likely to come down to two issues: taxes and education.
“Public schools and public school teachers have always been my priority,” said Davis. He addressed a conference Friday for the Kansas Association for Middle Level Education at Washburn Rural High School.
“If [Gov. Brownback] is re-elected with a $1.3 billion budget deficit on the horizon, Kansans have every reason to expect deeper cuts to our public schools in the future,” Davis continued.
Davis also criticized the governor’s Road Map 2.0 plan for the state.
“All the empty promises Governor Brownback offered in his Road Map 2.0 that he unveiled a few weeks ago, simply restoring the cuts that have been made to education was not one of them,” said Davis. “That’s because Governor Brownback has no intention of doing that.”
On Friday morning, also in Topeka, Gov. Brownback and Secretary of State Kris Kobach announced that they are launching a new Kansas Business Center online. The program is meant to assist small businesses get started in the state.
“[Small business owners] They’re concerned about a couple things. One is taxes,” said Brownback.
In fact, tax cuts are all the talk in Brownback’s reelection campaign.
In Kansas City, later on Friday, Gov. Brownback received public endorsements from a group of Wyandotte County Democrats. At a gathering at the new public library in Kansas City’s Argentine Neighborhood, Democrats Alfred Murguia and Nathan Barnes announced their decision to co-chair a group of Wyandotte County Democrats supporting the Republican governor. They were joined at the event by nearly two dozen members of the broad-based coalition.
“I am honored to stand with Governor Brownback in his re-election campaign. He has made a commitment to small business, lowering taxes for all Kansans, pursuing community-based initiatives and addressing issues facing the urban core,” said Nathan Barnes, a former commissioner of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas. “When you make that connection at the state level, things can happen in this community.”