Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

GOP surprise: Colyer leads Kobach in fundraising in Kansas governor’s race

In this Aug. 4, 2017 file photo, Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer speaks at the Wichita Pachyderm Club, in Wichita, Kan.
 (Bo Rader/The Wichita Eagle via AP, File)

In this Aug. 4, 2017 file photo, Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer speaks at the Wichita Pachyderm Club, in Wichita, Kan. (Bo Rader/The Wichita Eagle via AP, File)

January 11, 2018, 11:12 a.m. Updated January 11, 2018, 12:31 p.m.


— Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer raised more money than any other candidate from either major party in the 2018 race for governor, according to campaign finance reports made available Wednesday and Thursday.

Colyer, a Republican, surprised many observers by far outpacing the presumed front-runner in the race, Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

But a few other candidates on the Republican side, most notably Wichita businessman Willis “Wink” Hartman, made generous loans to their own campaigns out of their own pockets or business interests, giving them more resources to work with leading into the primary election campaign.

The reports, which were due before midnight Thursday, show fundraising and spending for the entire year of 2017.

Colyer, a Johnson County physician, raised $632,068 during the period, only $2,000 of which came from the Colyer Family Trust, according to his report. After expenses, that leaves his campaign with $548,802 in cash on hand going into 2018.

That was considerably better than Kobach, who reported raising $354,732 during the year, ranking him fourth among the seven major GOP candidates. He made no contributions or loans to his own campaign, and heads into 2018 with $260,902 in cash on hand.

On paper, Hartman looks to be the biggest fundraiser, taking in just over $1.83 million during the year. Of that, however, $1.685 million came in the form of loans from himself or business interests he controls.

That means he actually raised $145,661 from outside sources. But he headed into 2018 with a little more than $1.5 million in his campaign war chest.

Hartman is the head of Hartman Oil Co., a business he purchased from his father. He also owns or has interests in several other related companies.

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer also invested heavily in his own campaign. His report showed $713,482 in contributions, of which $285,700 came in the form of loans from himself, meaning he had net outside contributions of $427,782.

After expenses, Selzer heads into 2018 with $668,604 in cash on hand.

Former state Rep. Mark Hutton of Wichita showed $581,636 in contributions for the year, $200,000 of which came from himself, leaving him with $381,636 in net outside donations.

The other major GOP candidate is former Johnson County Rep. Ed O’Malley, who now lives in Wichita. He reported raising $218,362, all from outside sources, and he enters 2018 with $150,067 in cash on hand.

Meanwhile, independent candidate Greg Orman turned in a strong report that showed him raising $452,931. And while he made a small amount of “in-kind” contributions to his own campaign, paying for some supplies, legal expenses and political consulting out of his own pocket, he did not make any direct contributions or loans to his own campaign.

He did, however, receive a number of $2,000 contributions, the maximum amount allowed from an individual during the primary cycle, from people who share the last name Orman, and from out-of-state contributors.

Orman is a Johnson County businessman who ran a surprisingly close, but unsuccessful, campaign for the U.S. Senate in 2014 against incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Roberts.

On the Democratic side, the four major candidates all raised less than any of the Republicans, and none of them made donations or loans to their own campaigns.

The leader in the Democratic race was also a surprise to some. Former Rep. Josh Svaty of Ellsworth reported the highest total among Democrats with $192,545 in contributions. After expenses, he heads into 2018 with $66,180 in the bank.

Svaty also had an advantage in that he was the first candidate to get into the Democratic race, having formed his campaign committee in mid-May.

But perhaps more noteworthy was Sen. Laura Kelly of Topeka, who only entered the race Dec. 15. But in two and a half weeks, she raised $155,691. And because she didn’t have time to spend much of that, she heads into the new year with $154,939 in the bank.

Kelly received a number of $2,000 contributions from a number of well-known Democratic contributors, most notably former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

House Minority Leader Jim Ward of Wichita, who got into the race in mid-August, reported raising $90,535 during the year. After expenses, he still has $58,834 in the bank to work with.

Among the notable contributors on Ward’s list was former Congressman Dan Glickman of Wichita.

Trailing the Democratic pack was former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer, who raised $45,470 during the year. After expenses, he was left with $14,627 in cash on hand.


Steve King 4 months, 1 week ago

Did he write himself a check for another of his famous 3 days loans just before the reporting peroid?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months, 1 week ago

So this is the real reason Trump disbanded the voter suppression, I mean fraud, group. Of course, isn't Kobach going to "advice" Homeland? Oh wait, they issued a statement that says he isn't going to work with them.I guess he'll have to find another moonlighting job.

Cille King 4 months, 1 week ago

Where is Jim Barnett in fundraising? Isn't he a Republican gubernatorial candidate?

Nick Gerik 4 months, 1 week ago

Hi, Cille.

We inadvertently omitted Barnett in this story and have posted the results of his fundraising here:

— Nick Gerik, LJW digital editor

Richard Heckler 4 months, 1 week ago

Colyer is the same as Brownback = they are not different no matter the political rhetoric.

Kobach is the same as Brownback = they are not different no matter the political rhetoric.

Aegis Strategic GONE WILD

Kiss your right to vote,worker rights,local public schools & pensions goodbye

This consulting firm handpicks local, state, and federal candidates who share the Kochs' free-market, limited-government agenda, and groom them to win elections. "We seek out electable advocates of the freedom and opportunity agenda who will be forceful at both the policy and political levels," the company notes on its website.

Aegis says it can manage every aspect of a campaign, including advertising, direct mail, social media, and fundraising.

Aegis' president is Jeff Crank, a two-time failed Republican congressional candidate who ran the Colorado chapter of Americans for Prosperity and served as the chief operating officer of the national organization. The firm's six-person staff boasts two others with connections to the Kochs.

The group's lead strategist is Karl Crow, a former project coordinator for the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, where he focused "on how political advocates for economic freedom are identified, trained, and promoted," according to his bio on Aegis' website.

ALEC KOCH limited government = more big government than ever that approves the theft of our nations services and the tax dollar funding that is attached.

Richard Heckler 4 months, 1 week ago

When state legislators across the nation introduce similar or identical bills designed to boost corporate power and profits, reduce workers rights, limit corporate accountability for pollution, or restrict voting, odds are good that the legislation was not written by a state lawmaker but by corporate lobbyists working through the American Legislative Exchange Council.

ALEC is a one-stop shop for corporations looking to identify friendly state legislators and work with them to get special-interest legislation introduced.

It’s a win-win for corporations, their lobbyists, and right-wing legislators. But the big losers are citizens whose rights and interests are sold off to the highest bidder.

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) was founded in 1973 by Henry Hyde, Lou Barnett, and Paul Weyrich, who helped build a nationwide right-wing political infrastructure following the reelection of Richard Nixon.1 In the same year, Weyrich helped establish the Heritage Foundation, now one of the most prominent right-wing policy institutes in the country.

One year later, he founded the Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress, the predecessor of the Free Congress Foundation. In 1979, he co-founded and coined the Moral Majority with Jerry Falwell, and in 1981 he helped establish the ultraconservative Council on National Policy.

Richard Heckler 4 months, 1 week ago



Undercutting Health Care Reform

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How Does ALEC Work?

Who's Behind ALEC?

Who Founded and Funds ALEC?

Private School Vouchers

Tax Policy

Corporate Power and Workers' Rights


Obstructing Environmental Protection

Voter ID and Election Laws

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