Former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer is expected Monday to officially announce that he will run for governor in 2018.
Brewer will “make an important announcement regarding his political future” on Monday with stops scheduled in Wichita, Topeka and Kansas City, Kan., according to a media advisory late Friday.
A Democrat, Brewer has been exploring a run for the state’s top elected office, and an announcement tour is traditionally the first public step for serious gubernatorial candidates.
A fairly crowded field of candidates is expected for next year’s race because Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, currently serving his second term, cannot seek re-election because of term limits.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Wichita Eagle
That means the seat will be wide open if Brownback finishes his current term. If he doesn’t, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer would move up and could run as the incumbent.
Brewer’s entry into the race could set up the first Democratic primary for governor since 1998.
Paul Davis, a former House minority leader from Lawrence, is considering a second run for governor after narrowly losing to Brownback in 2014. Also eyeing a possible Democratic run is Josh Svaty, who served seven years in the state Legislature and about 1 1/2 years as state agriculture secretary under Gov. Mark Parkinson.
In addition to Colyer, Republicans whose names have surfaced as potential candidates include Attorney General Derek Schmidt, Secretary of State Kris Kobach, U.S. Reps. Lynn Jenkins and Kevin Yoder, Senate President Susan Wagle, former state legislator Ed O’Malley and Wichita businessman Wink Hartman.
Brewer served two terms as Wichita mayor, from 2007 to 2015. Before that, he represented Wichita’s 1st District as a City Council member for six years.
Since stepping down as mayor, Brewer has worked in government relations at Spirit AeroSystems.
Brewer will begin his series of announcements at 9:30 a.m. at the Old Town Hotel in Wichita, according to the advisory.