The 2018 campaign for Kansas governor has produced a large field of candidates — from elected officials, businessmen and even high schoolers.
The race for the Republican and Democratic nominations feature some of the top figures in both parties, as well as those who have been off the political scene for years.
Except for independent candidates, all other candidates had to officially file to join the race by June 1. The major candidates all have named running mates in recent days, kicking off the summer campaign season and the sprint toward the August primary election.
Here are candidates from the Republican and Democratic parties, as well as independent and Libertarian hopefuls.
Position: Retired from government relations position with Spirit AeroSystems
Past: Mayor of Wichita, 2007-2015
Education: Friends University
Raised: $45,470 in 2017
Running mate: Chris Morrow, former mayor of Gardner
Brewer was the first Democrat to enter the race, on Feb. 20, 2017. He is critical of the past management of the state and has said state services are under financial stress.
He has promised a community activist campaign.
Position: State senator
Past: Director of Kansas Recreation and Park Association
Education: Bradley University, Indiana University Bloomington
Raised: $155,691 in 2017
Running mate: Sen. Lynn Rogers, a former Wichita school board member
Kelly, of Topeka, has often focused on social services and welfare during her time in the Legislature. She has been a frequent critic of Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration, especially about how the state has run its foster care system.
She was first elected to the Senate in 2004.
Past: State secretary of agriculture, 2009-2011; Kansas House, 2003-2009
Education: Sterling College, Washburn University
Raised: $192,545 in 2017
Running mate: Katrina Lewison, a member of the Manhattan-Ogden school board
Svaty entered the race May 16, 2017. He became the second Democrat to jump in, triggering the first contested Democratic gubernatorial primary in Kansas in two decades.
His anti-abortion voting record in the Kansas House could prompt questions in the Democratic primary. He has said he thinks the focus of the race should remain on the state’s finances, schools and quality-of-life issues.
In addition to serving in state government, Svaty has worked as a senior adviser in the Environmental Protection Agency.
Arden Anderson, of Olathe
Jack Bergeson, The Independent School student
Position: Physician, president of the Shawnee County Medical Society
Past: State Senate, 2001-2010; ran for governor in 2006
Education: Bachelor’s degree, Emporia State University, 1976; M.D., University of Kansas, 1979
Raised: $59,645 in 2017; self-donated $505,000
Running mate: Rosie Hansen, his wife and a former foreign services officer
Barnett formally announced his candidacy on June 20, 2017. He advocates for restoring funding diverted from the Kansas Department of Transportation and has endorsed the Legislature’s actions to stabilize the state budget.
He won the Republican nomination for governor in 2006 before losing to incumbent Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, in the general election.
Position: Governor since January 31, plastic surgeon
Past: Lieutenant governor, 2011-2018; Kansas House, 2007-2009; Kansas Senate, 2009-2011
Education: Bachelor’s degree in economics, Georgetown University; master’s degree in international relations, Cambridge University; medical degree, University of Kansas
Raised: $632,067 in 2017
Running mate: Tracey Mann, the lieutenant governor
Colyer became governor in late January when Brownback resigned to accept a diplomatic post.
As lieutenant governor, he was in charge of the launch of KanCare, the state’s managed care program for Medicaid.
As governor, he has signed executive orders intended to increase government transparency. He also signed a bill that allows faith-based adoption agencies to turn away gay and lesbian individuals.
Position: Kansas secretary of state since 2011
Past: Chairman of the Kansas Republican Party, 2007-2009
Education: Bachelor’s degree, Harvard University; law degree, Yale Law School; master’s degree and doctorate in political science, Oxford University
Raised: $354,732 in 2017
Running mate: Wink Hartman, a Wichita businessman and former Republican candidate for governor
Kobach has criticized the Legislature for its decision to override Brownback’s veto of tax increases meant to help balance the state budget. He has promised to keep undocumented immigrants from receiving welfare services.
Kobach has gained a national reputation for championing a law requiring voters to show proof of citizenship to register to vote and for advising President Donald Trump on immigration and voting issues.
In May 2017, Trump named Kobach to a federal commission to examine the integrity of elections, though Trump later dissolved the commission.
Position: Kansas insurance commissioner
Past: Executive managing director of a brokerage and insurance services firm
Education: Bachelor’s degree in accounting, Kansas State University; master’s degree in business administration, University of Southern California
Raised: $427,762 in 2017; loaned himself $285,700
Running mate: Jenifer Sanderson, a Goodland businesswoman
Selzer has highlighted his service as insurance commissioner, saying that he made the department more efficient and customer-friendly.
His campaign has stressed an ability to run government well.
Patrick Kucera, Leawood businessman
Tyler Ruzich, Shawnee Mission North High School student
Education: Princeton University
Raised: $452,931 in 2017
Running mate: Sen. John Doll of Garden City
Orman ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in 2014 as an independent against Republican Pat Roberts. He is frequently critical of the two-party system.
Aaron Coleman, of Overland Park
Richard Kloos, of Topeka
Todd Mitchell, of Topeka
William Stofer, of Wichita
Position: Libertarian Party official, works in sales
Past: Caldwell has been active in politics for more than a decade and has previously assisted other campaigns.
Caldwell is focused on ending some taxes and restricting others. He wants to end the food sales tax, lower the gas tax, and provide tax cuts to farmers.
He also wants to allow for statewide ballot initiatives and legalize marijuana.
Ethan Randleas, Wichita Heights High School student