The Republican Governor’s Association is spending more than $4 million in Kansas to help Gov. Sam Brownback win a second term.
The association has run two political action committees in Kansas, one named the Republican Governor’s Association Kansas PAC.
A second political action committee — American Comeback Committee — has already been terminated.
However, the American Comeback Committee reported spending $390,000 during the last quarter ending Oct. 23 before it was terminated. It brings the total RGA spending on the Kansas governor’s race to a little more than $4 million.
To put that in context, Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Paul Davis reported raising about $2.1 million for the same period that ended Oct. 23. Gov. Sam Brownback hauled in about $1.5 million after $700,000 in loans are subtracted.
A spokesman for the Republican Governors Association acknowledged Tuesday morning that it was affiliated with the American Comeback Committee.
The group’s Kansas political action committee lists as its chairman Phil Cox, executive director of the RGA. The committee’s treasurer is Michael Adams, general counsel for the Republican governor’s group.
In 2012, Cox was credited for directing a $10 million independent expenditure campaign to elect Scott Walker governor in Wisconsin, according to the governor’s association Web site.
In 2010, Cox oversaw political operations for the RGA in eight states, including wins in Florida and Pennsylvania.
He also worked as the campaign manager for former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who was recently convicted of corruption-related charges.
The chairman of the governors association, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, has traveled to Kansas three times to campaign with Brownback, including a fundraiser in Mission Hills.
And the governors association has been big on television, especially with an ad attacking Davis for being at a strip club during a drug raid 16 years ago when he was 26 years old and single. Authorities have said he was not suspected of wrongdoing.
“It may seem surprising and excessive for Kansas when we’re not used to elections this competitive,” Fort Hays State University political scientist Chapman Rackaway said of the Republicans’ expenditure. “It is a lot of money, but it’s not a surprising amount when you see how active these campaigns have been.”