“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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"In the months after Donald Trump rode to victory while calling for mass deportations, Russian operatives bought dozens of Facebook ads targeted at the Hispanic community seeking to further inflame tensions already roiled by the campaign's racially charged rhetoric, according to USA TODAY analysis. Thousands of ads released by House Democrats this month showed Russian operatives focused on race during the presidential election in what experts say was a clear effort to amplify existing divisions."