Topeka senator entering Democratic race for Kansas governor

Sen. Laura Kelly, D-Topeka, asks DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore a question after learning the results of an audit of the department Wednesday Wednesday, July 27, 2016 in Topeka, Kan. The Kansas Department of Children and Families continuing struggles to adequately oversee private foster care contractors is putting children in the system at risk, according to a state audit of the agency released Wednesday. (Emily DeShazer/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Sen. Laura Kelly announced Friday she’s entering the Democratic race for Kansas governor, according to The Topeka Capital-Journal, The Wichita Eagle and The Kansas City Star.

She is the first woman to enter the race and her candidacy is drawing reaction from another candidate.

Former state secretary of agriculture and Democratic candidate for Governor responded quickly with a statement.

“I welcome Senator Kelly into the race for Governor of Kansas and look forward to her joining the discussion about the future of our state,” Josh Svaty, former State Secretary of Agriculture and Democratic candidate, said. “This doesn’t change the ultimate objective for Kansas Democrats, which is to identify the best nominee who can defeat Kris Kobach next November.”

Kobach is one of several Republican candidates in the race.

Kelly has served in the Kansas Senate since 2005.

KSNT News has made multiple attempts to reach Kelly and state Democratic leaders. Our e-mails and phone calls have not been returned.