Kansas candidates for state and federal office are in the midst of a post-Christmas rush to convince voters to send gifts of cold, hard cash.
The clock is winding down to midnight Sunday — the final moment donations can be received for inclusion on year-end campaign finance reports. In the interest of loading up reports due to be filed by Jan. 10, Republicans, Democrats and independents have been firing off financial wish lists to potential donors.
“Dear friend,” Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer said in a pitch. “As we approach the end of the year, I humbly ask you to make an investment in Colyer for governor and make a contribution prior to December 31. My campaign may accept up to $2,000 per entity, and any amount helps us achieve our goals.”
The pleading tone and political purpose is the same for candidates in statewide offices and U.S. House contests. The bottom line of the pledge drives: Put enough money in the treasury to convince folks the recipient is a contender.
It’s anticipated some candidates will fold once it’s publicly disclosed the money crowd was lukewarm to their campaign.
Democrat Brent Welder, running for the congressional seat held by GOP U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, took swipes at Yoder and President Donald Trump while extending a hand.
“Help us out with a donation right away to keep the momentum going against Trump’s right-wing lemming, Kevin Yoder,” said Welder campaign manager Shawn Borich. “This year, Yoder has sold you out with heartless votes on health care and tax kickbacks to giant corporations.”
Borich said Welder would shun corporate political action committee money, but welcomed donations of $10, $27 ,$50, $100, $250, $500 or “another amount.”
Johnson County businessman Greg Orman, an independent candidate for governor, let Kansans know he was ready to set partisanship aside and give rise to a transparent, efficient and accountable state government focused on education, health care and jobs.
“We can once again have a government free of the party bosses and special interests that have brought our state to the brink of catastrophe,” said Tim Owens, the campaign treasurer for Orman.
And, of course, Owens’ pitch talked about money: “We are approaching an important year-end fund-raising deadline already. Can you invest $10 now toward our goal of building a better future for Kansas?”
Secretary of State Kris Kobach, among the dozen Republicans running for governor, issued a batch of email solicitations. They contained nuggets on the “DC establishment,” Kobach’s latest appearance on Fox, his friendship with the Trumps, wisdom of federal tax cuts and danger posed by liberals in Kansas.
An email from Team Kobach sought donations of “$125, $75 or even $35” and warned special-interest groups were infecting the Kansas governor’s race with TV ads meant to draw support to Colyer.
“You can stop them right now,” Team Kobach’s message said. “Kris is a conservative leader. He fights for Kansans, not special interests.”
In a separate request, Kobach said donations ranging from $5 to $200 were needed by Sunday’s deadline. He argued some campaigns portrayed him the likely winner in an attempt to make GOP voters complacent.
“I know most of you have probably heard in the media that I am the front runner and the favorite to win the election,” Kobach said. “They want to lull conservatives to sleep. And they want to energize the left. I cannot win this election alone. I need your help.”
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim Ward reminded voters in a fundraising communique of his eagerness to knock off Kobach.
“Let’s show Kobach we are taking Kansas back,” said Ward, a Kansas House member from Wichita. “I got in this race because I knew I had what it takes to stand up for our priorities and to not give an inch on Kobach and the ultra-conservatives extreme agenda.”
In closing, Ward took words out of Kobach’s mouth.
“I need your support today as we approach our first major fund-raising deadline,” he said.