We’re seven months from the primary, but campaign finance reports submitted Wednesday show Wichita’s entrants on the Democratic side of the governor’s race are behind their opponents.
House Minority Leader Jim Ward, who represents southeast Wichita, raised $90,535 since getting into the race and has $58,834 on hand. Former Wichita mayor Carl Brewer has raised $45,470 and has almost $15,000 left to spend.
Both their numbers trail former Rep. Josh Svaty of Ellworth ($192,545 raised, $66,180 on hand) and Topeka Sen. Laura Kelly, who raised $155,691 in 2 1/2 weeks after announcing her candidacy Dec. 15.
Kelly’s late entry into the race has changed the primary’s dynamic. She has a reputation as a strong fundraiser and has been a longtime Democratic leader in the Senate. Svaty hopes for statewide recognition as a farmer and former lawmaker.
The challenge for Ward and Brewer is raising their profiles outside Wichita and turning it into campaign dollars.
The numbers weren’t so bad on the Republican side for Wichitans. Mark Hutton had $581,636, second only to Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer in contributions that don’t include candidate loans. Wink Hartman reported a field-leading $1.83 million, though $1.685 million is his own money.
Kansas Leadership Center president Ed O’Malley, the third Wichitan of the GOP group, trailed the field with $218,362.