Topeka Sensing an angry electorate, Gov. Mark Parkinson on Wednesday pleaded with voters to try to differentiate between Democratic officials in Washington, D.C., and Democratic officials in Kansas.
Meanwhile, Republicans embarked on a "Clean Sweep" bus tour through the state and touted their advance voting efforts.
During the four-day ride, led by gubernatorial hopeful Sam Brownback, the GOP was focusing on voter anger with President Barack Obama.
Brownback, a U.S. senator, faces Democrat Tom Holland, a state senator from Baldwin City.
Brownback's campaign manager David Kensinger said that Kansas Republicans are leading Democrats significantly in getting Republicans to vote in advance of Tuesday's election.
More than 111,000 advance ballots have been returned, and of those, Republicans cast more than 56 percent of them, while Democrats cast 30 percent, he said. Of the 177,000 voters who requested advance ballots, Republicans have a 49 percent to 34 percent margin over Democrats, Kensinger said.
Parkinson, a Democrat who is not running for office, was asked about the possibility of a Republican sweep of incumbent Democrats Attorney General Steve Six, Secretary of State Chris Biggs and State Treasurer Dennis McKinney. Parkinson said those officials have performed admirably and their defeat would “leave a giant hole in state government.”
Parkinson said he understood many voters are angry about the economy but said he hoped Kansans would reject linking state Democrats with federal policies.
For example, he said, it would be a “tragic irony” if McKinney, who has been known as a populist type politician, would get upended by a populist electorate.
Six faces Republican Derek Schmidt, the state Senate majority leader from Independence; Biggs is being challenged by Kris Kobach, an anti-illegal immigration attorney; and McKinney is paired up against Ron Estes, the Sedgwick County treasurer.