Kansas lawmaker Jim Ward announces gubernatorial run

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A top Democratic lawmaker says he is joining the crowded race to replace Republican Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.

House Minority Leader Jim Ward of Wichita announced his candidacy Saturday. He had named former Democratic Party chairman Lee Kinch as his campaign treasurer earlier this week.

Brownback is serving his second term and is expected to leave office early to become U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.

Ward was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives in 2002, and is the ranking Democrat on the House committee on Education.

Other Democrats in the race include former Wichita mayor Carl Brewer and former state representative Josh Svaty. GOP candidates include Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer.

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