Wint Winter, a former state senator from Douglas County, and more than 100 other current and former elected officials who are Republicans endorsed Paul Davis and Jill Docking, the Democratic candidates for governor and lieutenant governor, at an event Tuesday in Topeka.
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.
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.
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.
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.