Politics & Government

Wink Hartman running for governor ‘because it’s time to fix Topeka’

Wink Hartman prepares to thank supporters after losing the Republican primary for the 4th Congressional District seat in 2010. (Aug. 3, 2010)
Wink Hartman prepares to thank supporters after losing the Republican primary for the 4th Congressional District seat in 2010. (Aug. 3, 2010) Eagle file photo

Saying he wanted to be off “the sidelines,” Wichita businessman Wink Hartman announced Wednesday he will be running for Kansas governor in 2018.

Hartman said he will start campaigning immediately for the Republican nomination, according to a news release.

“As a businessman, I’ve watched the dysfunction in Topeka with increasing frustration. Instead of finding solutions, Topeka is causing problems,” Hartman said in a statement. “Instead of providing stability for Kansas families, farms and businesses, Topeka is creating uncertainty.

“Instead of improving the quality of life for Kansans, Topeka is making things more difficult,” he said. “I’m running for Governor because it’s time to fix Topeka and that’s exactly what we’ll do.”

Hartman is a restaurateur who also owns companies in oil, gas and drilling. He ran unsuccessfully for a congressional seat in 2010, losing to eventual winner Mike Pompeo. He told The Eagle in 2013 he would consider running for office again one day.

Hartman said in a campaign launch video that “putting career politicians in charge is not the solution. Putting them in charge is the problem.”

Hartman said a balanced state budget is the “elephant in the room.”

“I just can’t stand here on the sidelines anymore and watch this state deteriorate.”

Daniel Salazar: 316-269-6791, @imdanielsalazar

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