Earlier this week, Democrat Paul Davis gained national attention when he touted the support of 104 current and former GOP officials in his race to unseat Kansas Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.
But on Thursday, some of the air went out of that balloon when former congresswoman Jan Meyers said her name shouldn’t have been on Davis’ list.
“I did not endorse him,” she told The Star. “I'm trying to stay out of the race.... If I endorsed anyone, it would be Sam Brownback because he's our Republican candidate.”
Meyers’ comments drew immediate praise from current GOP officials who support Brownback — including some of the same ones who earlier in the week had been dumping criticism on the 104 officials (including Meyers) for allegedly being old and out of touch with voters. Meyers’ last term, for instance, ended back in 1997.
So what happened?
At least two possibilities exist.
Meyers was confused is the one being put out there by former Kansas Senate President Dick Bond of Johnson County. The Star paraphrased him as saying she might have been “confused when the two discussed the issue earlier this year.”
However, don’t give Bond and Davis a pass on this one.
If you’re going to have a former congresswoman highlighted on your list of blockbuster endorsers, something like that has to be nailed down. And Bond’s public quote indicated it wasn’t.
But there’s another possibility.
Meyers may be more cunning than some people think, including those in the GOP circles who were criticizing her this week.
As she indicated to The Star, Meyers wants to be considered a moderate in her party. That could put her in opposition to some of the issues backed by Brownback, leader of the ultra-conservative movement in Kansas.
Meyers may want to have it both ways: Look like she’s a friend to the moderate GOPers who want to retake the party, but at the same time not be so far out there in Republican circles that she officially endorses a Democrat for office.
In the end, it’s quite possible that Meyers was just being a typically cunning politician, telling people what they thought they wanted to hear.
To reach editorial columnist Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter @YaelTAbouhalkah.