Topeka — Add Senate President Dave Kerr to the list of possible Republican gubernatorial candidates.
Kerr of Hutchinson said Wednesday that under the right scenario he would run for governor in 2002 because at this point he is not excited about the current lineup of candidates.
He wouldn't say what the right scenario would be, but a Kerr candidacy would add to a growing list of state officials seeking a promotion to succeed Gov. Bill Graves, who is serving his second and final term.
"I don't want to ignore the opportunity and the need should that become apparent," Kerr said.
Kerr had supported U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran, a Republican from Hays.
But earlier this week, Moran announced he wanted to stay in Congress, which was followed by a chain reaction of reconsiderations by other Republicans.
"I was hopeful Moran would run. I think his candidacy would've won without any real doubt," Kerr said.
New possible candidates include Lt. Gov. Gary Sherrer, who had earlier said he wouldn't run because of his support of Moran, and Atty. Gen. Carla Stovall, who earlier had said she wanted to leave public life to find a job in the private sector. State Treasurer Tim Shallenburger and GOP chairman Mark Parkinson also reportedly are considering jumping into the race.
House Speaker Kent Glasscock, R-Manhattan, has declared his candidacy, and Shawnee County Treasurer Rita Cline, is considering the race. On the Democratic side, Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Sebelius is the only candidate to announce she is planning to run.
When Moran pulled out, Kerr said he started reassessing the race. Kerr and others said Moran would have appealed to both the conservative and moderate wings of the GOP.
With Moran gone, Kerr said he believed he could fill that description, saying that he cannot be categorized as a conservative or a moderate Republican.
Kerr said he also believes he could appeal to both rural and urban voters because he is from a fairly sizable town, Hutchinson, and derives much of his income from farming.
Staff writer Scott Rothschild can be reached at (785) 354-4222.