Wink Hartman, a Wichita businessman, will vie for the top job in Kansas, he announced in a press release last night. Hartman is president of Hartman Oil Co., a job he’s held for the last 26 years. He also owns restaurants.
Hartman, a Wichita Republican, said he’s running for Governor in 2018 to fix Topeka.
“As a businessman, I’ve watched the dysfunction in Topeka with increasing frustration,” he said in a release. “Instead of finding solutions, Topeka is causing problems. Instead of providing stability for Kansas families, farms and businesses, Topeka is creating uncertainty.”
Hartman is likely to face a crowded Republican primary. Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins, once considered the frontrunner, announced she will not seek the nod. However, former state Rep. Ed O’Malley of Roeland Park, announced his candidacy last month, and several others are rumored to be considering runs.
In a campaign video, the oil man says “putting politicians in charge is not the solution. Putting them in charge is the problem.”
“I can’t stand here on the sidelines and watch the state deteriorate,” he says.
This isn’t Hartman’s first foray into politics. He unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2010 and lost the Republican primary to Mike Pompeo.
The Wichita businessman owns and oversees several companies including Hartman Oil Co., H2 Trucking, H2 Drilling, H2 Oil Field Services, Chester’s Chophouse, and Jimmy’s Egg restaurants. According to his campaign website, he is a lifetime member of the NRA and the Wichita Chamber of Commerce.
“Instead of improving the quality of life for Kansans, Topeka is making things more difficult,” he said. “I’m running for Governor because it’s time to fix Topeka and that’s exactly what we’ll do.”