It’s true that Gov. Sam Brownback is extremely unpopular in the state of Kansas in mid-2016. But this also is true: Johnson County helped re-elect him as governor in the fall of 2014.
Yes, it was a narrow edge: The Republican incumbent received 94,787 votes to 92,416 for Democrat Paul Davis. Indeed, Brownback didn’t even hit the 50 percent mark because a third candidate got almost 3 percent of the vote.
Still, the thought that Johnson County is some kind of bastion for progressive voters in Kansas took a hit that November night nearly two years ago.
Why does that matter as Tuesday’s all-important legislative primaries loom?
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Because the moderate Republican candidates who are trying to knock off Brownback’s GOP supporters in the Legislature — the ultraconservative House and Senate incumbents who have backed the governor’s destructive income tax cuts — don’t know exactly who’s going to the polls this year.
Are they the people who are fed up with Brownback’s ways, ready to vote for the alternative?
Or are they conservatives who still want to continue to keep the governor’s allies in the Legislature?
We will know the answer in three short days.
But for the sake of Kansas’ future, let’s hope that Brownback’s pitiful performance in office since re-election — combined with the almost complete lack of job growth since early 2015 and continued budgetary woes — will hurt at the polls.
That should be good news for the moderate candidates. And here’s the list of people who would be good choices in the Republican primaries on Tuesday.
11th District: John Skubal
21st District: Dinah Sykes
8th District: Patty Markley
14th District: Leesa Gabel
15th District: Kim Palcic
17th District: Tom Cox
20th District: Jan Kessinger
21st District: Dorothy Hughes
27th District: Timothy James Harmon
28th District: Joy Koesten
30th District: James Dingwerth
38th District: Mitra Templin
39th District: Shelee Brim
43rd District: Donald Roberts
78th District: Ron Ryckman