Archive for Saturday, June 7, 2014

Robinson switches parties in run against Gaughan

June 7, 2014


— Greg Robinson switched his voter registration from Republican to Democratic 10 days before filing to run against Democratic Douglas County Commissioner Mike Gaughan in the Aug. 5 primary for the First District.

Greg Robinson

Greg Robinson

Mike Gaughan, candidate for Douglas County Commission.

Mike Gaughan, candidate for Douglas County Commission.

"I expect to get beat up over it," said Robinson, 49, an attorney and former Lawrence police officer.

But, he said, he really is a Democrat.

"I probably should've switched years ago. When you start checking boxes on which party you belong to, I'm a Democrat. If someone thinks voting for me they are going to get a Republican, they're not," he said.

Robinson said he decided to run because he thinks taxes are too high and government gives away too many tax breaks to businesses to locate in Lawrence.

"Economic development money needs to go away. Lawrence sells itself. We don't have to pay anybody to live here," he said.

In 2005, Robinson ran an unsuccessful campaign for city commission. He said he has always had an interest in politics.

He works as a defense and personal injury attorney and contract attorney for the city of Lansing, where he graduated from high school.

Robinson said he served in the Army, worked in business, was a member of the Lawrence police department for just less than two years and then got his law degree at Kansas University in 1998.

The First District includes most of central and eastern Lawrence. No Republican has filed in the race.

Incumbent Gaughan is seeking re-election to his second full-term after being appointed to the seat in 2009.

Before running for county commission, Gaughan worked as a legislative liaison for Govs. Kathleen Sebelius and Mark Parkinson. He served as executive director of the Kansas Democratic Party from 2005 through 2008 and is currently a partner in the political consulting firm Kansas Grassroots. He has a bachelor's degree in history from KU.

Gaughan said his goal is to defend Douglas County against what he described as the shortsighted policies handed down by Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican, and the Republican-dominated Legislature.

He said 85 counties in Kansas have raised the mill levy since Brownback signed into law cuts in state income tax rates and other changes.

"In my time on the County Commission we've seen state funding cuts for Medicaid services for the developmentally disabled, mental health services, public health and community corrections, as well as an attempt to close the Lawrence SRS (Social and Rehabilitation Services) office, and I've voted to protect Lawrence and Douglas County every time," he said.

In addition, Gaughan said that during his time on the commission, he has authored and passed budget and purchasing reforms to increase public transparency and make sure that contractors are accountable to the taxpayers.


Bob Forer 3 years, 10 months ago

Democrat? Or merely another opportunist seeking political office?

Richard Heckler 3 years, 10 months ago

In reality ALEC may be who is backing Robinson --- beware.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 10 months ago

The consulting firm Aegis Strategic plans to handpick local, state, and federal candidates who share the Koch Political Empire Agenda politics.

Fred Mion 3 years, 10 months ago

I guess rather than wanting a Democrat or Republican, I'd rather have someone who gives a crap about this town, county, state, and country. I'd rather have someone who is not connected, and doesn't have a good ol' boy system backing him. I'd rather have someone who remembers that those is office USED TO work for the good of the people, not to line their own pockets, and still wants to do that today. But, hey, that's just me.

Bob Forer 3 years, 10 months ago

You mean, you'd like to see an independent run for office. Ditto. .

Julius Nolan 3 years, 10 months ago

Have to disagree. Tea Party wing of GOP is totally obsessed with that. Therefore it means he is still a diehard Republican and no way could I ever vote for him. No matter what he claims he is.

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