Collectively, 2018 candidates for Kansas Governor have raised more than $6.3 million, but only one candidate’s cash on hand comes close to what Gov. Brownback and Democratic candidate Paul Davis reported on their campaign finance reports from the same time period in the 2014 gubernatorial cycle. According to his campaign finance report, Wichita businessman Wink Hartman raised $1.8 million, but $1.65 million is a personal loan to his campaign.
In January 2014, Brownback reported he raised $1.6 million for his re-election campaign, and he reported having $2 million in cash on hand. Of that, a half million was a loan from Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer. Davis raised $1.1 million and reported $770,000 in cash available for the race.
Hartman reported a $1.5 million war chest. He says his large loan to his campaign ensures that it will be free from the influence of special interests.
“I go into this race not owing anyone any favors, and when we win, I’ll answer to the voters, not big donors,” he said.
There are 26 candidates vying for Kansas’ top executive job. The field will narrow after Republican and Democratic primary elections in August.
Jim Barnett, the Republican Governor nominee in 2006, is also largely self-funded this cycle. He raised $59,000 last year, and loaned his campaign $505,000.
Colyer and Kansas Secretary of State Kobach didn’t loan money or donate to their own campaigns. Colyer raised $632,062. Colyer will assume the Governor’s office if Brownback is confirmed for a post in the Trump administration. He said he has a broad network of supporters that donated to his campaign.
“From business leaders to grassroots activists, these supporters will lead us to victory in the fall,” he said in a release announcing his campaign finances. He reported $550,000 of cash on hand.
Despite a fundraiser featuring Donald Trump Jr, Kobach raised $355,000 for his campaign. He reported only $260,000 of cash on hand heading into 2018.
Kansas Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer and former state Rep. Mark Hutton both have more cash on hand than Kobach, though both gave money to their own campaigns. Selzer raised $713,000 and reported $668,000 available for the GOP primary. He raised more than $400,000 and loaned his campaign $286,000. Hutton has $393,000 cash on hand. He donated $200,000 to his campaign.
The Democratic candidates’ fundraising lags Republican efforts, so far. Democratic gubernatorial candidates reported raising about $485,000. In contrast, a single independent candidate, Olathe businessman Greg Orman, reported raising nearly $453,000.
State Sen. Laura Kelly has the most cash on hand for the raise, though she raised slightly less than former state Rep. Josh Svaty. She has $155,000 on hand, after raising $156,000 in the month since she announced her candidacy. Svaty raised $193,000 last year, but he only reported $66,000 available. House Minority Leader Jim Ward raised $91,000, and former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer raised $45,000.