Mark Hutton is bowing out of the race for Kansas Governor. The former state representative’s departure narrows the Republican field to four major candidates including former state Rep. Jim Barnett, Gov. Jeff Colyer, Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Kansas Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer.
Hutton is the third major candidate to exit the race. Former state Rep. Ed O’Malley dropped his campaign on Feb. 1. Wichita businessman Wink Hartman announced he was suspending his campaign on Feb. 21.
Hutton said he and his wife are grateful for the support he received on the campaign trail.
“It’s been an honor to travel to all corners of Kansas to hear the concerns and ideas for solutions that Kansans have for fixing the problems in our state government,” he said in his announcement. “I believe the solutions to our state’s challenges lie in its people, not its politicians, and I am confident the great people of Kansas will be what carries us all forward.”
Colyer issued a statement congratulating Hutton on his spirited campaign.
“Mark has been an important voice in this process, and it is my sincere hope that he stays engaged,” Colyer’s statement reads.
Hutton didn’t say what his next steps will be. He is the founder of Hutton Construction.
“Mary and I look forward to the next chapter in our lives and are confident that will include serving the people of Kansas in some small way,” Hutton said in a statement.
Kansas Republicans will select the party’s nominee for governor in August. Kansas Democrats also have a crowded primary field for the first time in two decades. Democratic candidates include former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer, state Sen. Laura Kelly, former Kansas Agriculture Secretary and former state Rep. Josh Svaty and Kansas House Minority Leader Jim Ward. An independent candidate, Greg Orman, is also running.