Archive for Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Democratic team set: Tom Holland names lieutenant governor running mate state Sen. Kelly Kultala

June 9, 2010, 8:11 a.m. Updated June 9, 2010, 5:35 p.m.


State Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, filed Wednesday for the governor's race alongside his lieutenant governor running mate, state Sen. Kelly Kultala, D-Kansas City. They spoke in the Memorial Building in Topeka and were then headed to a campaign stop in Wichita.

State Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, filed Wednesday for the governor's race alongside his lieutenant governor running mate, state Sen. Kelly Kultala, D-Kansas City. They spoke in the Memorial Building in Topeka and were then headed to a campaign stop in Wichita.

— The Democratic gubernatorial team — Tom Holland for governor and Kelly Kultala for lieutenant governor — on Wednesday struck out at their likely opponent as a Washington, D.C., insider who pushed failed policies and divisive politics.

Kultala described the leading Republican candidate, U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, and his running mate, state Sen. Jeff Colyer, as representing the right-wing fringe of the Republican Party.

Holland and Kultala, both state senators, said they represented Democrats and moderate Republicans who try to work together to solve problems.

Evidence of that, they said, was their support in the 2010 legislative session of a bipartisan plan to increase the state sales tax by 1 cent per dollar, which they said was necessary to avoid damaging cuts to education, social services and public safety. Plus, they said, the tax increase, which takes effect July 1, will help support the state transportation program and produce jobs.

“We made the responsible choice,” said Holland, noting that Colyer, a state senator from Overland Park, voted for the transportation plan but against the tax increase to support it. “That’s playing politics,” Holland said.

Long shot bid

On Wednesday, Holland announced Kultala as his running mate, and the two filed to run and hit three cities on campaign stops.

Kultala, of Kansas City, Kan., is a former commissioner in the Unified Government of Wyandotte County-Kansas City, and former Piper school district board member. She graduated from Kansas University. She is currently director of community outreach for Youthville Inc.

She was elected to the Kansas Senate in 2008 after defeating incumbent senator Mark Gilstrap, who was then a Democrat and has since switched to the Republican Party.

Holland, a business owner from Baldwin City, defeated a Republican incumbent to serve in the Kansas House for three terms and then defeated a Republican incumbent in 2008 to win his senate seat.

Although formidable campaigners, the two Democrats face enormous odds against Brownback, a 16-year congressional veteran who enjoys much greater name recognition, a sizable advantage in voters’ party registration, and will invariably be able to spend more money. Brownback, who unsuccessfully ran for the GOP nomination for president, 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.

Holland indicated they would hammer Brownback as having been responsible for the current economic problems by running up the national debt and reducing regulatory oversight.

GOP criticism

Kansas Republican Party Chair Amanda Adkins called Holland’s choice of Kultala “bizarre.”

Adkins said, “Only three counties in Kansas voted for Barack Obama and the Democratic ticket is from two of them. They are writing off the rest of the state.”

The Brownback campaign said, “We welcome state Sen. Kelly Kultala to the debate on how we create jobs, improve education and support our families. The Brownback-Colyer team is ready with a plan.” A campaign spokeswoman said that plan will be unveiled after the Aug. 3 primary.

Brownback faces little-known Derby resident Joan Heffington in the Republican Party primary. No other Democrats have filed for the office with the deadline to enter the race at noon today.


LogicMan 7 years, 8 months ago

Save your (and everyone else's) time, money, and energy, Tom. I'm sure you're a good guy, but this is a done-deal this time around.

iLikelawrence 7 years, 8 months ago

pretty sure if Brownback wasn't even on the ballot he'd win in a write-in vote.

werekoala 7 years, 8 months ago

Yeah, much as I hate, hate, hate Brownback and think he's going to do his damndest to drag us backwards, that's sadly how democracy works. I'm afraid the majority of Kansans have forgotten how cruddy the late 1800s were...

Holland's a good man, would make a decent governor, but in all honestly this is one of those races where he's running on the off chance the favorite gets caught with a dead girl or live boy in his bed...

Holland's only chance is to expose just what kind of a nut job Brownback is; problem is, most people won't care. He's (R) nutjob, after all, right?

63BC 7 years, 8 months ago

Two freshman state senators from East of Lawrence and left of Parkinson.

Not what I'd call a balanced ticket.

Writing off over half the state is a bold strategy.

sinedie 7 years, 8 months ago

You think if he'd picked Janis Lee he'd have a shot?

This isn't about geography; it's about name ID. Most people voting will not know much except 1) They've heard of Brownback before and 2) They know he's a Republican.

63BC 7 years, 8 months ago

2.8 million people in Kansas, they don't have to limit themselves to state senators.

Am I right when I say that TWO-THIRDS of Democrats in the State Senate have announced for other offices?

Haley---US Senate Steineger---Secretary of State Holland---Governor Kultala---Lt. Governor Faust-Goudeau---County Commission Kelly---US Congress [withdrew]

These are not the foundations of a majority.

The party that needs to broaden its thinking---geographically and otherwise.

MyName 7 years, 8 months ago

It's not just about who would be good to run, it's also about who would be willing to run on the ticket. Most of the Senators are running because their seats aren't up for reelection and so they've got nothing to lose.

And in terms of votes, you can write of, literally 2/3 of the state and still have a majority of the people in Kansas. There's I-70 to Manhattan, and I-35 to Wichita. Then there's the rest of the state.

Maddy Griffin 7 years, 8 months ago

Hey Tom, if you could do a campaign event here in Lawrence, I'd gladly donate my time and energy to help!

BigDog 7 years, 8 months ago

Tom could have balanced the ticket better .... but no one with name recognition would come aboard. The same problem that the Party had in attracting a candidate. Both are State Senators who don't face re-election on those jobs for 2 more years. They have little risk and it will give them some name recognition.

Those with a higher profile were unwilling to be a gubernatorial candidate or candidate for second in command.

I like them both but neither is exactly the leader who will put voters at ease when looking for an alternative to Brownback.

thatonedude 7 years, 8 months ago

Holland came closer to balance with Kultala than Brownback did with Colyer, at least.

63BC 7 years, 8 months ago

She beat an incumbent Democrat in a primary from the left. That's not balance.

Besides, Colyer got 27,311 votes for state senate in 2008.

Kultala, in the same strong Democratic year got 15,184.

Keep spinning folks, ball don't lie. This was a weak pick.

thatonedude 7 years, 8 months ago

Voter turnout is only affected by "strong Democratic years" so much. And maybe try explaining how Colyer balances the GOP ticket, because if he can't, you've got no room to complain.

BigDog 7 years, 8 months ago

She only won because it was a race that Sebelius spent a lot of time and money on because she didn't like the incumbent Democrat who was too moderate for her (Mark Gilstrap)

Also when you are talking balance Republicans rule a lot of Western Kansas and candidate does not need to be from that region, though in this case Colyer grew up in Hays. So Colyer grew up in Hays and lives in Johnson County, an important area for Brownback

Centerville 7 years, 8 months ago

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha! Talk about a mirror-image Lt Gov pick! Wonder how the LJW will choke down this serving of crow?

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