Although the candidate filing deadline isn’t until June 1, the Democrats ticket for the state’s highest office appears to have taken shape. (The filing deadline for some offices was extended the June 10 due to delays in the redistricting maps, but none of those offices are covered in this article.)
Incumbent Governor Laura Kelly is seeking re-election along with current Lt. Gov. David Toland and will likely face-off against current Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt as of today, Schmidt hasn’t formally filed. It appears he may still be trying to decide on a candidate to run alongside him for Lieutenant Governor, since he website fails to identify a running mate.
Before she’s on the ballot in November, Kelly must beat out an opponent in the Democratic primary. Running against her is the team of Richard S. Karnowski for governor and Barry J. Franco for Lieutenant governor. The most we could find amount Karnoswki, is that he’s an accountant in Seneca, KS, a town just north of the Nebraska line, in central Kansas. We couldn’t fine a photo of him, including on his website, however we did find that he was running virtually a self-funded campaign, having contributed or loaned, $30,000 of $32,000 in his campaign coffers.
With current Atty. Gen Derek Schmidt not seeking re-election, the attorney general race is a crowded field for Republicans. Former police officer and prosecutor Chris Mann is the only Democrat to file for the open seat. As a junior at the University of Kansas in 1988, Mann became the youngest officer in the Lawrence Police Department, but his career in law enforcement was ended prematurely when he was his by a drunken driver, while he was walking along the roadside during a traffic stop. He switched his career to law, graduating from Washburn University and joining the Wyandotte County District Attorney’s office as a prosecutor. Since then he’s served as an assistant attorney general with the Kansas Securities Commission prosecuting white-collar criminals. He also worked with the Kansas Legislature to reform DUI laws to require ignition locks on vehicles driven by people charged with DUI.
Running as Republican candidates for Kansas Attorney General are: Tony Mattivi and Kellie Warren. Although he hasn’t filed so far, also planning to run is former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. senator and governor. Mattivi, is a retired federal prosecutor and Warren is a current member of the Kansas Senate representing eastern Johnson County, who identifies as a conservative candidate.
Secretary of State
The position of Secretary of State who oversees Kansas elections is currently held by Scott Schwab, a Republican who is seeking reelection. He has a primary contender, Mike Brown, a conservative candidate from Johnson County, who is determined to tighten down the state’s elections.
Jeanna Repass is the Democratic candidate for Secretary of State. She’s running on a platform of restoring public confidence in the state’s election system, the voting process and ballot access. Repass, a first-time candidate from Johnson County, says, “previous Secretaries of State have used the office to pursue personal political agendas,” her agenda is to serve the people of Kansas.
Current State Treasurer Lynn Rogers, a Democrat, is seeking reelection. Rogers, a former state senators from Wichita, also ran alongside Gov. Laura Kelly as her successful Lieutenant Governor candidate. However, after then State Treasurer Jake LaTurner won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, Kelly appointed Rogers to fill the treasurer’s position LaTurner vacated.
The State Treasurer is the chief custodian of Kansas’s cash deposits, monies from bond sales, and other securities and collateral and directs the investments of those assets.In response to Russia’s ongoing attack of Ukraine, rogers was quick to call for the disinvestment from Russian assets. Rogers said he wants to remain state treasurer to reform a state program to focus on better solutions to the state’s affordable housing crisis and to work on ways of improving retirement options for Kansas families struggling to provide for themselves and their children.
“The treasurer’s office ought to become a hub of information on financial literacy,” he said.
The Republican Party primary for state treasurer features state Rep. Steven Johnson of Assaria and state Sen. Caryn Tyson of Parker.
Kiel Corkran, a Democrat from Johnson, is running to unseat current Kansas Insurance Commissioner Vicki Schmidt, who he says has been bought by the insurance industry. Since filing for the office in 2018, Schmidt has taken $254,275.00 from insurance companies, healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies, insurance and healthcare industry PACs, lobbying firms, financial investment firms, and related holding companies. Corkran, a K-State math major worked as an IRS tax examining technician.