Sunday, September 21, 2014

Davis files for governor, wants moderate Kansas

By The Herald Staff | 5/30/2014

The opposition to Gov. Sam Brownback’s second term has made it official. Kansas House minority leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, filed Thursday to run for governor with Jill Docking, a Wichita businesswoman, running for lieutenant governor, according to a news release.

Although Davis made his intentions official Thursday, he has been campaigning throughout the duration of the 2014 legislative session, often criticizing Brownback’s tax plan and the Legislature’s passing of a law that removed due process rights for the state’s public school teachers. He went as far as blaming Brownback’s tax plan for the $92 million shortfall the state experienced in April revenue report, while the incumbent governor blamed President Obama.

The opposition to Gov. Sam Brownback’s second term has made it official. Kansas House minority leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, filed Thursday to run for governor with Jill Docking, a Wichita businesswoman, running for lieutenant governor, according to a news release.

Although Davis made his intentions official Thursday, he has been campaigning throughout the duration of the 2014 legislative session, often criticizing Brownback’s tax plan and the Legislature’s passing of a law that removed due process rights for the state’s public school teachers. He went as far as blaming Brownback’s tax plan for the $92 million shortfall the state experienced in April revenue report, while the incumbent governor blamed President Obama.

Davis said he wants to lead Kansas in a different direction, back to a more moderate state rather than the hard right the state currently finds itself.

“Kansas has a long tradition of moderate, commonsense leadership — both Republicans and Democrats — solving the problems we face,” Davis said. “We share a commitment to our kids and their schools and an understanding that businesses have diverse needs to grow and create jobs. It’s time for Kansas to once again focus on the right priorities and restore our commitment to our future.”

Docking, who has more than 20 years experience as a financial advisor and also served as chair of the Kansas Board of Regents, said she also is worried about the state’s leadership during Brownback’s tenure.

“Like so many Kansans, we’re profoundly troubled by the direction our state’s been heading over the past three years,” Docking said. “Because of the Brownback experiment, Kansas has a projected deficit of over a $1 billion within five years, is 45th in new business creation and our credit has been downgraded twice. It’s clear the experiment has failed.”

In response to Davis’ filing, Brownback said he welcomed the Democratic challenger to the race and compared Davis to President Obama, according to the Topeka Capital Journal.

“He is an Obama-style Democrat,” Brownback said. “Kansans will recognize the sharp contrast between my policies as a Reagan Republican, reducing taxes and increasing family income, and those of a liberal Democrat who supports increased taxes and federal intrusion including support for Obamacare.”

Davis has served in the Kansas Legislature since 2003, serving as the representative of the 46th District. In a message to supporters through email, Davis said his campaign will focus on priorities, including valuing education for children in Kansas, boosting economic growth that helps middle class families and “never, ever, putting party labels ahead of people.”

Davis currently runs unopposed in the Democratic primary and will face off with the winner of the Republican primary during the general election Nov. 4.

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