Democrat Paul Davis turned to a Kansas political veteran Tuesday when he announced that Wichita financial planner Jill Docking would join him in his bid to unseat Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.
Calling her “uniquely accomplished” and “widely respected,” Davis announced his choice Tuesday for lieutenant governor in Prairie Village in northeast Johnson County, a stronghold for moderate Republicans.
Davis, the House minority leader from Lawrence, touted Docking’s background as a financial planner, her work on the state panel that oversees higher education in Kansas and her involvement in charitable organizations.
“Jill is dedicated to bringing Kansans together and finding common sense answers to the challenges we face,” Davis told a crowd of about 100 people who gathered at Franklin Park to hear the announcement.
They criticized Brownback for cutting education funding even though the incumbent once compared the importance of schools to national defense.
“Strong schools are the very foundation of a stronger economy,” Docking said. “We’ve got to have a governor who knows it. too.”
Docking lost a bid for the U.S. Senate against Brownback in 1996. Her husband, Tom, was lieutenant governor from 1983 to 1987. His father, Robert, and his grandfather, George Docking, both served as governor.
The Kansas Republican Party quickly responded to Davis’ pick for lieutenant governor, tying her to Democratic President Barack Obama.
GOP Chairman Kelly Arnold pointed out that Davis and Docking were Obama supporters in a state that is very cool to the president.