Governor ads airing months before primaries

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — With eight months until the primaries for the Governor’s race, but already some ads supporting candidates have started to air.

Asking the questions “Who is Kansas’ next Governor” the ad by State Government Leadership Foundation highlights Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer’s work as a doctor as he prepares to take on the role as Governor.

“We are appreciative that the State Government Leadership Foundation has undertaken this effort to introduce people to the real Dr. Colyer. Lt. Governor Colyer has dedicated his life to the service of others and it is great to have those stories shared with Kansans,” said Colyer’s communication director Kendall Marr in a statement.

“The group that is running the ad has been linked to the political arms of Koch,” said Political Analyst Bob Beatty.

Beatty said being linked to the political activism of Charles and David Koch could bode well for Colyer in the 2018 Governor’s race, especially when it comes to money.

“In the past they’ve shown a willingness to spend millions of dollars in campaigns,” explained Beatty.

Beatty said this is the earliest ad he’s even seen for the Governor’s race, adding many people in the state may not know who the Lt. Governor is.

“Lt. Governors, nobody knows who they are,” he said. “Your average Kansans have no idea who Jeff Colyer is, so this ad is trying to start this conversation of at least awareness of hey who is Jeff Colyer.”

Beatty added with high profiled republicans in the race, like Kris Kobach, and Colyer, the republican candidates may have more money to spend on campaign ads, something Beatty says could be a challenge for democratic candidates.

“The democrats are going to be competitive, but they have to have money to be competitive, so we’ll just have to wait and see  in the spring if they can actually raise that money.”

The Democratic Party of Kansas released this statement following the release of the ad.

“The fact that dark money, Koch Brothers-backed groups feel the need to run ads for Lt. Gov. Colyer this early in the race demonstrates just how desperate Colyer and his special interest supporters are to make Kansans forget that Lt. Gov. Colyer has been Sam Brownback’s biggest cheerleader for all seven years of his failed governorship. From his support of the disastrous tax experiment to the mess he has made of KanCare, Kansans know that Colyer would continue down the same ruinous path as Brownback.    

The ad doesn’t impact our Party or our gubernatorial candidates. We know that Kansans want to move past the failures of the Brownback-era, and our candidates are out there every day talking to Kansans about their positive vision for getting the state back on track.”

Beatty said people will probably start seeing more political ads this spring.

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