Danedri Thompson
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Tom Holland, Democratic candidate for Kansas Governor, named state Sen. Kelly Kultala as his lieutenant governor running mate June 9.
Sen. Kultala represents the Leavenworth area in the state Senate.
Holland, who represents Baldwin City in the state Senate, cited Kultala’s consistent record of bipartisanship and a commitment to create jobs and protect schools as reasons for asking state Sen. Kultala to join his campaign.
Holland made the announcement at campaign events in Overland Park, Topeka and Wichita on Wednesday.
“When I thought about who I would want to serve as my Lieutenant Governor, my criteria was simple,” Holland said in a press release. “They must share my commitment to bipartisanship. I’m proud to say Kelly Kultala shares this commitment and has a track record of working across the aisle to achieve results.”
The pair will likely face U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback and state Sen. Jeff Colyer in the November general election. At press time, no other Democrats had filed to run for the Kansas Governor’s seat.
Amanda Adkins, Kansas Republican Party Chair, called Kultala a “bizarre” political choice for a running mate.
“Only three counties in Kansas voted for Barack Obama and the Democratic ticket is from two of them,” Adkins said. “They are writing off the rest of the state.”
Kultala however said her gubernatorial  running mate appeals to Kansans because he is a moderate alternative to Brownback.
“For the past 16 years, Sam Brownback has been part of the problem in Washington, D.C., and we cannot afford to bring those problems back to Kansas.”
Kultala was born in Leavenworth and currently resides in Wyandotte County.
She is a graduate of the University of Kansas and a former commissioner of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City and former Piper School District board member. She was elected to the Kansas Senate in 2008.