Who will win the race for governor of Kansas this year?
I think that Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer are the leading candidates for the Republican nomination. Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer is also coming on as a possible strong contender, and he has had some success in raising money.
Jeff Colyer, Kris Kobach, and Ken Selzer are experienced statewide election winners. Each holds a current elected office that gives them greater political visibility and perhaps a political advantage in running for a statewide office. Jim Barnett, who won the 2006 Republican nomination for governor has probably faded as a statewide candidate. Republican candidates Wink Hartman and Mark Hutton are at a disadvantage because they come from Wichita, as do Democratic candidates Carl Brewer and Jim Ward. No candidate from Wichita has won a general election for governor since Ed Arn in 1950 and in 1952.
However, State Senator Laura Kelly could be a formidable candidate if current movements take hold with the nationwide focus on getting more women elected to public office at all levels.