The Buzz

Kansas Democrat who lost to Brownback speaks out

Paul Davis
Paul Davis AP file photo

Paul Davis, the Lawrence Democrat who lost to Gov. Sam Brownback in the 2014 Kansas governor’s race, hasn’t been very vocal as of late.

But in a statement he released Thursday, he criticized the governor and praised the results of this month’s primary. And, according to one political scientist, Kansans could hear more from Davis as the 2018 governor’s race nears.

The former Kansas state legislator said in a statement that the Aug. 2 primary sent a clear message that Kansans Republicans “have had enough of ideologically driven lawmakers who put politics before their constituents and whose irresponsible policies bankrupted our state.”

On Aug. 2, moderates across Kansas beat out more than a dozen conservative incumbent candidates. Davis said if moderate Republicans join with Democrats in Topeka, it’s possible they will be able to form a majority voting bloc in both the House and the Senate.

“We now head into the general election with a great deal of hope for the future,” Davis said. “I believe Kansans are ready to leave the Brownback experiment behind.”

Bob Beatty, a political science professor at Washburn University, said Davis is one of the more well known Democrats in Kansas. If Davis continues to be active, Beatty said, he’s well positioned to run again for governor in 2018 when the seat is open. Brownback’s term ends in January 2019. Davis lost by 4 percentage points to Brownback in 2014.

“He’s definitely keeping his options open by being active in this campaign,” Beatty said.

Brownback’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.