Paul Davis

While Kansas had other high profile campaigns in 2014, the race for U.S. Senate in Kansas was so unusual that it attracted a lot of attention. Political staffers and experts weighed in Thursday on that and the governor’s race as part of a panel by the Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas.

Frank Morris / KCUR

Gov. Sam Brownback was re-elected as Kansas governor by a narrow margin Tuesday night after a tough campaign against Democratic challenger Paul Davis.

Brownback took a majority in crucial Johnson and Sedgwick counties, giving the Republican the edge over Davis, who ended up with 47 percent of the vote. Brownback landed 49 percent of the vote, and 4 percent went to Libertarian candidate Keen Umbehr.

"What a night!" Brownback exclaimed as he thanked supporters for the win. "Paul Davis ran a great race ... that State Fair debate is not one I will soon forget."

There’s a chill in the air, and a forbidding wind is rustling through the trees. But which is scarier—the ghouls and ghosts of Halloween or the campaigning for the midterm election?

On Friday's Up to Date, the Political Pundits return to talk about the issues surrounding the close races in Kansas for secretary of state, governor and especially for the U.S. Senate, where a leadership change is a real possibility.

Plus, we have a look at the buzz surrounding the Missouri governor’s race of 2016. 

Gov. Sam Brownback and Democratic challenger Paul Davis disagree on the role of politicians in a battle over same sex marriage in Kansas. The comments came during a debate this week in Wichita.

Davis says he originally opposed the state's same sex marriage ban because it creates an unwelcoming image for Kansas. He says the issue will be handled by the courts.

"The fact of the matter is this issue is out of the hands of politicians. There's nothing that I can do, there's nothing that Governor Brownback can do to change this issue. The courts will decide it," says Davis.

Republican Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and his Democratic challenger, Paul Davis, tangled over judicial selection in their final scheduled debate Tuesday.

Brownback criticized the current makeup of the state Supreme Court and referenced the recent overturning of death sentences for the Carr brothers, two convicted murderers.

Alyson Raletz / KCUR

Kansas gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis says if elected, he'll surround himself with the most bipartisan cabinet in the state's history.

"I want to try to bring the very best people we can into state government, and that's ultimately going to mean we're going to have roughly equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans," said Davis, a Democrat.

His comments came during an appearance on KCUR's Up to Date with host Steve Kraske on Wednesday.

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We all knew education was going to be an important issue in the race for Kansas governor.

But in the last three weeks of the campaign it just might turn out to 'the' issue.

Gov. Sam Brownback and his Democratic challenger, House Minority Leader Paul Davis, have charged each other with dastardly education deeds for weeks.

At a news conference last month in Topeka, Davis accused the governor of cutting education funding.

“All we’ve gotten from Gov. Brownback on education is deep cuts and failed leadership," he said.

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There are two big issues in the race for Kansas governor this year: How to fund education and how to grow the economy.

Republican incumbent Gov. Sam Brownback is standing firm on cutting taxes to boost the economy.

Brownback has cut income taxes for individuals and eliminated them for small businesses. He says this will spur business development and thus the economy will grow.

But House Minority Leader Rep. Paul Davis has a very different idea.

Davis says he will drive economic growth by spending more on education.

Sam Zeff / KCUR

Everyone knew education was going to be an issue in the race for Kansas governor.

In debates and TV commercials, Republican incumbent Gov. Sam Brownback says he’s increased spending on public schools. His Democratic challenger, House Minority leader Paul Davis from Lawrence, claims Brownback has cut funding.

Frank Morris / KCUR

The three candidates for governor in Kansas diverge on taxes, health care and school funding, but they   came together Friday for a debate sponsored by the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce. 

The contest is largely between incumbent Republican Governor Sam Brownback and his Democratic challenger, Kansas House Minority Leader Paul Davis. Friday’s gubernatorial debate in Overland Park also included the Libertarian candidate, Keen Umbehr, who echoed some of Gov. Brownback’s views and pledged to take his income tax cuts to a new level.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Republican Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Democratic challenger Paul Davis traded blows at the Kansas State Fair over the weekend as they met for their first formal debate.

It was a packed house in Hutchinson, Kan., in the arena where the debate was held. Before it even started, an energized crowd chanted and cheered. When Davis and Brownback took the stage they hit on some common themes they’ve been repeating on the election trail.

Paul Davis, the Democratic candidate for Kansas governor, continues to push public schools as the cornerstone of his campaign.

At a stop in Topeka, Davis claimed a second term for Republican Gov. Sam Brownback could mean cuts to public schools.

Davis, speaking at an elementary school, pointed to a report from the non-partisan Kansas Legislative Research Department. It shows the state facing a more than $200 million budget deficit in 2016. Davis says the tax cuts pushed by Brownback will lead to the deficit, which will in turn, lead to funding cuts for education.

Republican Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has unveiled some education goals he'll push for if he's reelected to a second term in office. Brownback says he'll aim for 60 percent of Kansas adults to have a college degree or technical certificate.

At events in Topeka and the Kansas City area Brownback also hinted at a clash over education funding between himself and his Democratic challenger in the gubernatorial race, Rep. Paul Davis.

Brownback touted funding increases during his time in office, specifically money targeted at technical education programs.

Frank Morris / KCUR

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made another trip to Kansas City Wednesday to stump for Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and attend a fundraiser in Mission Hills.

Christie heads the Republican Governors Association (RGA).

“Kansas is an important race for us in the country, and that’s why I’m here and told the governor I’ll be back between now and election day as well,” says Christie. “RGA is going to make a significant investment here in Kansas, because we believe in Sam.”

Susie Fagan / KHI News Service

 

More than 100 current and former Republican officials formally endorsed Democrat Paul Davis for governor on Tuesday at a Topeka event that organizers said was unprecedented in Kansas politics.

Speaking for the newly formed group, Republicans for Kansas Values, former Sen. Wint Winter of Lawrence said the mass endorsement was prompted by growing concerns among moderate Republicans about the effect of Brownback’s tax and budget policies on public schools, highways, universities, social services and the Kansas economy.

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A new poll shows Gov. Sam Brownback trailing opposing Democrat Paul Davis, who’s showing support from independents and Republicans that many didn’t expect.

In the first part of Monday's Up to Date, we talk about that race, how Sen. Pat Roberts is faring against the competition and what former Missouri Congressman Todd Akin is saying this week.

Guests:

A routine financial meeting last week at the Kansas Statehouse turned into a heated exchange between Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and some Democratic lawmakers. The two sides sparred over the state's financial policies, and the meeting previewed many of the arguments that are likely to be repeated on the campaign trail this fall.

The state of Kansas borrows money to help manage cash flow during the year, but the annual meeting soon turned to a debate over fiscal policy.

Poll results released Tuesday indicate that the Medicaid expansion issue could be a factor in the Kansas governor’s race.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed a bill Wednesday that changes the way some judges in Kansas are selected. Under the new system, the governor will select candidates for the state appeals courts. The nominees will then need to be approved by the Senate.

The current system involves a nominating commission that selects candidates. The governor then chooses from those candidates. Brownback says the current system gives too much power to attorneys, who hold five of the nine seats on the commission.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

The Kansas House on Wednesday rejected a proposal by Democrats aimed at reducing the property taxes paid by Kansans.

The top Democrats in the Legislature say lawmakers should have a hand in mediation in a case over school funding. They say they'll file a motion making that argument this week.

It's about a month into the 2013 legislative session, but the top Democrat in the House is questioning if lawmakers will be able to wrap up in 80 days as planned. Representative Paul Davis, a Lawrence Democrat, says legislators will soon need to decide if they'll support the governor's tax proposal or perhaps create their own proposal.

“I’m hopeful and supportive of trying to finish in 80 days, but the prospects of doing that, I think, are getting bleaker,” says Davis.

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has proposed more income tax cuts in Kansas over the coming years. And to help pay for that, he wants to make permanent part of a temporary sales tax increase that is set to expire later this year. He's also suggested eliminating some tax deductions, like the home mortgage deduction.

There is now a conservative majority in both the House and Senate, and some lawmakers may try to find additional cuts to state spending instead of using the sales tax and tax deductions to help pay for an income tax cut.

Democratic leaders from the Kansas Legislature have laid out a proposal that they say will create jobs. The lawmakers unveiled the plan during a series of stops in union halls across Kansas.

Democrats in the legislature are introducing 14 bills they say will spur job growth and career training in Kansas.

The plans include speeding up a 10 year transportation plan, so jobs are created sooner. The legislation would also give businesses a tax credit for training apprentices.

House Minority Leader Paul Davis, a Lawrence Democrat, says he hopes the plan won’t get mired in partisan politics.