2006 GOP nominee to make another run for governor

Jim Barnett
Jim Barnett

Jim Barnett, the Republican nominee for Kansas governor in 2006, will take another run at the office in the 2018 election.

Barnett has scheduled a nine-city, two-day announcement tour next week to make his candidacy official.

He’s scheduled to touch down for a campaign speech in Wichita at 3:45 p.m. Tuesday at Jabara Airport, 3512 N. Webb Road.

He also has stops scheduled Tuesday in Manhattan, Junction City and Salina. On Wednesday he will swing through western Kansas with stops in Liberal, Garden City, Dodge City and Hays.

Barnett is an Emporia physician and served in the state Senate from 2001 to 2010. He lost the governor’s race in 2006 to incumbent Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

In the 2006 campaign, Barnett advocated for tax cuts for business to spur the economy and bring economic growth and higher tax income for the state — policies similar in theme to those Gov. Sam Brownback would implement after he won the governorship four years later.

Staunch opposition to abortion was also a major plank in Barnett’s platform.

Sen. Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, was Barnett’s running mate in the lieutenant governor spot. Now the Senate president, Wagle has been mentioned as a possible candidate for governor herself.

Barnett enters a crowded field that already includes Secretary of State Kris Kobach, whose signature issues are immigration and voter proof of citizenship; former state Rep. Ed O’Malley, a moderate Republican who now runs the Kansas Leadership Center; and Wink Hartman, a Wichita oil magnate who ran unsuccessfully for the 4th Congressional District seat won by Mike Pompeo in 2010.

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer is also expected to enter the race in the future.

Two Democrats are vying for their party’s nomination: former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer and former state representative and Agriculture Secretary Joshua Svaty.

Dion Lefler: 316-268-6527, @DionKansas