As a politician, Colyer has made full use of his authority as Governor to sign bills passed by the Legislature and do it wherever it will get the most press. And it appears the press is accomodating him out of disdain for his principle opponent. I suspect the press, at least it appears, are doing everything they can, to push Colyer as a very different Governor than Brownback and to hurt Kobach wherever possible.
Colyer is touting highway projects like Highway 69 in southeast Kansas as something that will get done immediately. Sound familiar? The folks in southeast Kansas have been made this promise all too often. Colyer was a significant part of an administration that robbed from KDOT to balance the overall budget and conveniently forgot about the campaign promises made.
Politically, what Colyer has going for him is that he is not Kris Kobach. Kobach, it appears, has successfully wrapped up the far-right vote with the support of Trump. With the help of Kansas Farm Bureau, this allows Colyer to focus on more reasonable Republicans. What seems to be forgotten for the moment by Republicans is the bulk of Colyer’s positions basically continue the Brownback agenda including the failed KanCare initiative where Colyer had a major role. The wildcards in all of this are Ken Selzer and Jim Barnett who have legitimate campaigns, and probably will take significant votes away from Colyer, possibly helping Kobach to win in the end.
The results on Tuesday, August 7th will be a critical, clarifying step in what, from my perspective, has been one of the most complex and important election cycles we have faced in Kansas. The candidates who emerge from this gubernatorial primary will immediately begin a general election race that will determine the direction of our state for decades to come.