Davis endorsers – More than 100 traditional Kansas legislators and their GOP allies came out for the Democratic ticket for governor. Whether this unprecedented step by seasoned Kansas politicians will have the effect they desire remains to be seen. But after Gov. Sam Brownback campaigned with archconservative former Sen. Rick Santorum last week, this venture on the part of respected moderates in his party helps define the governor as a dyed-in-the-wool new conservative who may be too far to the right for a majority of voters in his own state.
We appreciate the stand these Republicans are taking. It might represent the only hope this state has to wrest control from the extreme, ultraconservative faction that has Kansas on the road to financial ruin. House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, and running mate Jill Docking might not be able to break up the overwhelming majority that conservatives have in the Legislature, but they represent the best chance for restoring sanity to the Statehouse.
The question is whether Kansans will stand for four more years from a radical-right leader who promotes attacks on public schools and other counterproductive measures, or align with the thoughtful, mainstream Republicans who stood up last week to remind us of the need to put Kansas’ future first.
Try as it might, the Kansas GOP will be hard-pressed to make the case that this long list of distinguished Republicans is somehow a group of Democrats in disguise. As the Kansas GOP threw barbs at members of its own party, it demonstrated why so many tried-and-true Republicans have turned their backs on Brownback and current party leaders: Today’s GOP demands conformity and absolute obedience under threat of expulsion from the party’s ever-shrinking tent. Kansas has been well-served by members of Republicans for Kansas Values, who displayed impressive courage by endorsing a candidate from another party, knowing full well that their GOP brethren would respond with mockery, dismissal and retaliation.
Maybe this is what Kris Kobach wants. Lower voter turnout makes it easier for him to get re-elected. His GOP opponent, Scott Morgan, wants to return the Secretary of State’s Office to better, more professional management without the agenda that Kobach has constantly sought to inject in the office that oversees elections across Kansas. We agree with Morgan. Kobach needs to go.