Topeka Democrat Paul Davis on Thursday filed to run for governor along with his lieutenant governor running mate Jill Docking.
Davis, the House minority leader from Lawrence, and Docking, a Wichita businesswoman, make up the presumed Democratic ticket to challenge Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer in the November election.
"People are ready for a change in direction in the governor's office and Jill Docking and I are ready to provide that," Davis said.
Davis has long been a critic of Brownback's cut in the income tax rates and elimination of income taxes for some business owners, saying the cuts will reduce the amount of revenue available for schools and other essential state services, while also benefitting mostly wealthy taxpayers. Recently, Moody's Investor Services downgraded the Kansas credit rating over concerns about the state's long-term financial health, and state revenues in April dropped sharply from previous estimates.
"It is becoming very clear that the Brownback tax plan just isn't working," Davis said. Brownback has said the tax cuts will help grow the economy and attract businesses.
When he filed to run two weeks ago, Brownback touted the tax cuts and noted that the state's jobless rate had fallen to 4.8 percent in April.
Davis said during the course of the campaign, he will propose initiatives that will help the economy.
"We are going to be having a number of proposals that we will be rolling out during the course of the campaign about how we can not only get our fiscal house in order but also really do meaningful things to help the economy get to the point where it should be right now," Davis said.
On Thursday, Brownback tried to link Davis to President Barack Obama, a Democrat who received 38 percent of the vote in Kansas in 2012, and Obama's health care reform, called the Affordable Care Act, but often referred to as Obamacare.
Brownback said of Davis, "He is an Obama-style Democrat. Kansans will recognize the sharp contrast between my policies as a Reagan Republican, reducing taxes and increasing family income, and those of a liberal Democrat who supports increased taxes and federal intrusion including support for Obamacare."
Chris Pumpelly, campaign spokesman for Davis, said Brownback was trying to district voters' attention from Brownback's "dismal record."
Brownback faces a Republican primary challenge from Wichita landscaping business owner Jennifer Winn. The deadline for candidates to file for the Aug. 5 primary is Monday.