Davis names Docking as his running mate

10/24/2013 9:58 AM

10/24/2013 9:58 AM

Updated (1:40 p.m.) with Republican response:

Paul Davis, the likely Democratic nominee for Kansas governor, this morning will name Jill Docking as his lieutenant governor running mate, The Buzz has learned.

Docking, 57, is a former chair of the Kansas Board of Regents and works as a financial adviser in Wichita.

Her pick was widely anticipated.

She is married to former Kansas Lt. Gov. Tom Docking and was the1996 Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate. In that race, she lost to Sam Brownback, who began a 14-year Senate career that ended after he won the 2010 race for governor.

Brownback is seeking a second, four-year term next year.

Davis and Docking will announce their partnership in a series of stops across the state on Tuesday with the first scheduled for 8:30 at Franklin Park in Prairie Village.

Other stops will be in Topeka, Salina and Wichita.

The ticket traveled by school bus to emphasize their commitment to public education.

“I’ve known Paul Davis for 20 years,” said Docking. “I know his commitment to Kansas, his commitment to our schools and his dedication to growing our economy. He is a moderate, commonsense leader willing to sit down and reason with anyone to solve problems and get Kansas back on the right track. I'm energized and ready to get to work making him our next governor.”

Davis, the House minority leader, said Docking is “Jill is an oustanding addition to this team.”

Some Democrats had urged Docking to seek the governor’s office. But after much consideration, she declined, although she agreed to consider the ticket’s second slot.

It’s not known what duties Docking would take on as the state’s lieutenant governor if the team is successful in November 2014.

Former state Sen. Jeff Colyer of Johnson County is Brownback’s lieutenant governor.

Republicans said the ticket amounted to a “doubling down on the Obama agenda.”

“With this selection, Kansas Democrats are clearly going back to the past. Republicans want to lead Kansas into the future,” said state GOP chair Kelliy Arnold.

Clay Barker, the state party’s executive director, dismissed any allure attached to the Docking name. Two Dockings served as governor decades ago.

“No Docking has won a Kansas Election in over 30 years,” Barker said. “The last two who tried, lost.”

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