Saying that the state government is “not just broke, it’s broken,” former Kansas Rep. Mark Hutton officially launched his bid for the Republican nomination for governor Monday.
Hutton, the founder of Wichita’s Hutton Construction, said the state needs a governor “who will do what’s right for Kansas, not just what’s right for their own political agenda.”
At the Statehouse, Hutton was among the first Republicans to publicly break ranks with his party to repeal Gov. Sam Brownback’s zero tax rate for owners of limited liability companies.
Hutton is a strong supporter of the party’s ongoing call for loosening of regulations on business. Many of the approximately 100 people who showed up for his campaign announcement either own businesses or have deep ties to local economic development efforts.
Hutton said instead of competing for jobs against neighboring states, he wants to work with them to generate more prosperity for all the states in the region.
“Dream with me of the possibilities if our state were to join with our neighboring states in a regional economic effort that is so successful everyone benefits,” he said. “Where companies and talent come to our region because of quality of life and workforce, not taxpayer giveaways.”
We don’t just need jobs. We need better jobs.
Mark Hutton, candidate for governor
“We don’t just need jobs,” he said. “We need better jobs.”
Hutton acknowledged that he’s not as well known as the two perceived frontrunners, Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, who will replace Brownback as governor when Brownback is confirmed for an ambassadorship in the Trump administration.
But he said he’s better equipped for the job because his background in construction has kept him in closer touch with the concerns of ordinary people. Kobach is a lawyer and former law professor, Colyer is a plastic surgeon.