Gov. Jeff Colyer has determined that Tracey Mann gives his gubernatorial ticket a balance from Colyer’s Johnson County roots and Topeka insider politics track record.
Mann, a 41-year-old who lives in Salina and grew up in Quinter, has never held elected office and has spent most of his life at arm’s length from politics.
But with Mann’s selection comes 8-year-old baggage.
Mann ran for the 2010 Republican nomination for the 1st District’s seat in Congress. Late polling showed him in a three-way deadlock with Tim Huelskamp and Jim Barnett, but he finished a distant third to Huelskamp.
Two gaffes cost Mann. Twice during the campaign, he said then-President Obama should produce a birth certificate to prove he was born in the United States. His endorsement by the Hutchinson News was rescinded before election day.
Also during the campaign, Mann suggested that global-warning concerns should be left to God, putting off any belief that humans can make a difference.
Mann on Tuesday acknowledged mistakes during the 2010 primary and said he was moving on. That’s the right thing to say and do, though you’d hope that moving on also means he’s not going to make those mistakes again.
Colyer needs a rural, agriculture-friendly person in the lieutenant governor role. Like his boss, Mann will get a few months in his role before the August Republican primary. Mann will be busy on the campaign trail carving out a name for himself and Colyer in a crowded GOP field.