“Kansas has a record number of candidates for the early stages of a 2018 governor’s race” with 18 so far appointing “treasurers or committees for a campaign next year,” including 11 Republicans, six Democrats, and one independent. “The Libertarian Party is expected to have a nominee, and another independent candidate may get into the race.
“The current number tops the previous record of 16 on the primary and general election ballots in 1964.” Notably, “the field includes four high school students.” (AP)
THE INDEPENDENT EFFECT. 2014 Senate candidate Greg Orman (I), who is likely to enter the race, penned an op-ed arguing Americans are “sending the major parties another message: Your time is running out.” Instead, Orman wrote, “Genuine independents, citizen servants who put their country ahead of a political party, think for themselves and don’t cling to ideologically driven policies even when they are failing, and aren’t controlled by party bosses and special interests are the alternative the American people want.” (Kansas City Star)
If Orman enters the race—making it a three-way election—as one columnist puts it, “the Democrat is toast. Orman will take the vast majority of his votes from the Democratic candidate, splintering that vote, thus allowing the Republican to prance to the finish line without hardly taking a breath.” (Kansas City Star)
MEDICAID. Gubernatorial candidates weighed in on whether to expand Medicaid coverage in the state. “Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer (R), Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer (R), and Wichita businessman Wink Hartman (R) all oppose expansion.” On the other hand, former state Rep. Mark Hutton (R) “said he thought debates got hung up on labels, like ‘Obamacare.’ … Former [state] Rep. Ed O’Malley (R) and former [state] Sen. Jim Barnett (R) both favored the program.”
Democrats, on the other hand, “were united in their support of Medicaid expansion.” (cjonline.com)
IS BORING THE NEW BLACK? House Minority Leader Jim Ward (D) is making the case for himself as the “boring” governor, saying, “We’ve had too much controversy and radical sways and policy experiments.” (Topeka Capital Journal)
Meanwhile, among the several other Democrats in the race, salesman Robert J. Klingenberg (D) “is gearing up to run for the Democratic nomination.” Klingenberg “works for Frito-Lay.” (Hutchinson News)
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"A federal judge has found a witness in contempt for refusing to testify before the grand jury hearing evidence in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. U.S. District Chief Judge Beryl Howell made the ruling Friday after a sealed hearing to discuss Andrew Miller’s refusal to appear before the grand jury. Miller is a former aide to longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone."
Paul Manafort's former business partner Rick Gates said in court today that "he conspired with Manafort to falsify Manafort’s tax returns. Gates said he and Manafort knowingly failed to report foreign bank accounts and had failed to register Manafort as a foreign agent."