Topeka The 2010 Kansas governor’s race will heat up today as Republican Sam Brownback announces his pick for lieutenant governor.
Speculation has focused on state Sen. Jeff Colyer, a physician and a conservative Republican from Overland Park.
After Brownback makes his announcement, he and his running mate will go on an eight-city, two-day statewide tour starting in Overland Park and stopping in Topeka, Pittsburg, Wichita, Hutchinson, Garden City, Hays and Salina. The appearance in Hays will be at Thomas More Preparatory School-Marian, from which Colyer graduated in 1978.
So far, Brownback faces opposition in the Aug. 3 Republican Party primary from political newcomer Joan Heffington of Derby, whose running mate is Mark Holick, a pastor.
The Democratic candidate who has gotten the endorsement of party leaders is state Sen. Tom Holland of Baldwin City. Holland hasn’t announced a running mate.
Brownback’s choice of a running mate could provide a sneak peek at what a Brownback administration would be like if he became governor.
Here’s how Washburn University political science professor Bob Beatty sees it.
“At this point, Brownback is in a very strong position in the poll matchups with presumed Democratic nominee Tom Holland.
“If this were not the case then there might be strong consideration for him to choose a moderate Republican, since Brownback himself has conservative credentials.
“Electorally, he probably does not have to do that, and is free to make a choice based on other “balancing” factors such as gender, geography and types of experience rather than political ideology,” Beatty said.
Brownback led Holland 58 percent to 27 percent, in a Rasmussen Reports survey of 500 likely voters on May 11. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.