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Competition for governor E-mail
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 09:55

By Hutchison News, Oct. 25


Addition of Docking strengthens a ticket that will challenge Brownback

Whether enough Kansans will see the Democratic ticket for governor in 2014 as the dream team, who knows at this point. But it is the best ticket the Dems have fielded since Kathleen Sebelius - a popular governor who’s not so popular right now as secretary of Health and Human Services in the Obama administration - and Mark Parkinson.

Democratic candidate Paul Davis seemingly strengthened his bid for governor by making an early announcement on Tuesday of Wichita businesswoman Jill Docking as his running mate. The two did a four-city announcement tour in a school bus, reinforcing the point that public education will be one of their key issues in the 2014 campaign.

Davis alone is a solid candidate, a bright Lawrence lawyer who serves in the House as minority leader. Be that as it may, he doesn’t enjoy widespread name recognition across the state. His running mate, however, brings that to the ticket.

Docking is a career financial advisor and former chairwoman of the Kansas Board of Regents. She is the wife of former Lt. Gov. Tom Docking, son and grandson of two former governors. And, more importantly, she brings good ideas and a strong voice of her own to the race. Before Davis formally announced, Docking was speculated as the candidate to be on the top of the Democratic ticket.

They will run aggressively against incumbent Gov. Sam Brownback, the reformist Republican who has plenty of positions they can attack - namely a tax plan that has eliminated income taxes for business owners and shifted more burden to the poor and middle class, and a correspondingly frugal state budget for public education and social services.

The Democrats think Brownback is vulnerable, and the latest Survey USA poll shows that he has a 58-percent disapproval rating among Kansans. And in the first gubernatorial race polling since Docking joined the Davis ticket, Survey USA showed the Democrats ahead of Brownback and Jeff Colyer 43% to 39%

In any event, some of Brownback’s policies have been controversial, and the Democrats finally have fielded a ticket that at least ought to make re-election a challenge for the Republican in a decidedly red state. And if Kansas voters tune out the campaign television commercials long enough to listen to the debate, they should discover they have a clearly different philosophical choice for governor in the November election next year.

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