Sen. Sam Brownback, candidate for Kansas Governor, made a whirlwind tour through eight cities in Kansas on June 1 and June 2 introducing his Lt. Gov.-running mate, Dr. Jeff Colyer to voters. Overland Park was the closest the pair came to Gardner. There, Brownback told supporters at Johnson County Republican Party Headquarters that he is delighted Colyer, a state senator, agreed to be number two on the ticket.
“Jeff is a man of tremendous character,” Brownback said in a press release. “He has distinguished himself in business and public service and is a true humanitarian.”
Later in the day, the pair made their candidacy official by filing required forms at with the Secretary of State’s office in Topeka.
Brownback, a one-time candidate for president, is widely viewed as the front runner to capture both the GOP primary nomination and the governor’s chair.
In the August primary, Brownback faces Derby resident Joan Heffington. The winner of the August election is likely to face state Sen. Tom Holland, a Democrat from Baldwin City.
In a press release, Holland said he welcomes his Senate colleague, Colyer, to the race.
“However, Sam Brownback’s decision to put another extreme conservative on the ticket demonstrates that he has no intention of working with, or listening to, moderate Kansans,” Holland said.
Kenny Johnston, Executive Director of the Kansas Democratic Party, said in a press release that the Brownback ticket pairs the right with the far right.
“Instead of creating a balanced ticket, Sam Brownback has chosen a right-wing millionaire who will help re-write his record of failure and extremism in Washington.”
Colyer was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives in 2006 and to the state Senate in 2008. He is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Overland Park. While a member of the state legislature, he served as the Chairman of the 2007 Legislative Health Reform Task Force.
He served as a White House Fellow under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W.Bush. He is married and has three daughters.
Colyer told supporters he has a strong commitment to Kansas voters.
“Together, we will grow the economy. We will improve education for our children. And we will protect Kansas families. I’m thrilled to be a part of the team to get Kansas back on track,” he said.