Republicans for Davis boast rusty, dusty legislative credentials


OLD AND BUSTED: While the list of 53 former state lawmakers backing Democrat Paul Davis for governor looks impressive, most haven’t held public office in years.

By Travis Perry │ Kansas Watchdog

OSAWATOMIE, Kan. — Talk about old and busted.

Tuesday, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis unveiled a list of 104 Kansas Republicans backing the Lawrence Democrat against incumbent Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.

Many of the names boasted impressive legislative credentials, but there’s a reason the Davis campaign didn’t go much further in detailing the political history of his conservative supporters.

Of the 104 Republicans listed, 53 were former state legislators. The keyword there, if you didn’t catch it, is former. Seventeen of the one-time lawmakers now backing Davis were given the boot by voters, ending their political careers. Furthermore, 37 of the former Republican legislators — that’s nearly 75 percent, if you’re keeping track — haven’t held office for at least a decade.

John Golden, who hails from Goodland, lays claim to the most-dusty resume after having left the state Legislature nearly 50 years ago.

“When was the last time any of these people have walked a precinct and talked to hundreds of voters?” Clay Barker, executive director of the Kansas Republican Party, told Kansas Watchdog. “I think they would be surprised at the issues and feelings that todays’ voters have.”

Barker referenced Gallup’s annual State of the States polling which, among other things, measures the political leanings of a state. He said Kansas moved in a strong conservative direction after 2009.

“I think the voters have changed, and a lot of the people in this group, because they haven’t been running for office, have been out of touch with voters on the ground,” he noted.

View the full list here.

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