June 23, 2024

Keeping Media and Government Accountable.

Kansas Gubernatorial Giving Map Defies Expectations

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The Wichita Eagle has compiled a complicated, interactive map showing who is giving to whom in the Kansas governor’s race, and it holds a few surprises.

Perhaps the most interesting revelation has to do with the nature of the donations received by Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Although arguably the best known of the candidates, three Republicans raised more money in 2017 than Kobach did. Much has been made of this. The numbers follow:

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer: $632,068

Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer: $427,762 (plus $285,700 of self-cash)

Mark Hutton, Wichita businessman: $381,636 (plus $200,000 of self-cash)

Secretary of State Kris Kobach: $354,732

Ed O’Malley, CEO of Kansas Leadership Center: $211,788

Wink Hartman, oil and gas exec: $120,000 (plus $1.68 million of self-cash)

Jim Barnett, Emporia physician: $59,645 (plus $505,000 of self-cash)

Despite Kobach’s high national profile, Jeff Colyer is out-raising Kobach in DC.

Kobach has easily received more of what insiders call “earned media”–that is, media attention that the candidate does not pay for–than any of other candidates. Much of that coverage has been national, and most local and national coverage has been negative. The inference has been that Kobach is the candidate of choice of the national Republican elite. The numbers on giving suggest just the opposite.

Some 90 percent of Kobach’s money has come from within Kansas. The map is difficult to assess on this subject, but he appears to have more individual donors than other Republican candidates. By contrast, it is Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer who has benefitted most from the giving of individuals and firms in an around the District of Columbia.

Independent candidate Greg Orman has raised nearly $100,000 more than Kobach, but Kobach has many more Kansas-based donors than Orman. In the Kansas City area, he has twice as many. Orman is particularly strong in California.

The Democrat have fallen far behind both Orman and the Republicans:

Josh Svaty: $192,545

Sen. Laura Kelly: $155,692

Rep. Jim Ward: $89,534 (plus $1,000 of self-cash)

Carl Brewer: $45,470

Indeed, the numbers on giving suggest that at some point Democrat party leaders may decide, as they did in the 2014 Senate race, to withdraw their candidate and let Orman go head to head against the Republican.

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