In the past couple of weeks speculation has been budding that the four-term Congressman was seriously looking at the open Governor’s race, especially when his colleague, Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Topeka), decided to retire from politics. Ms. Jenkins was widely expected to run for Governor, but then surprised everyone in late January by announcing that she would instead return to the private sector when her current congressional term expires at the beginning of 2019.
Yesterday, the budding Yoder gubernatorial bid may have already ended. The Congressman told various local news reporters that he intends to seek re-election next year.
Gov. Sam Brownback (R) is ineligible to run for a third term. Three statewide officials: Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer (R), who also just made public his intention not to seek Rep. Jenkins’ open US House seat, Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), and Attorney General Derek Schmidt (R), are all considered potential gubernatorial candidates.
Businessman Wink Hartman and former state Rep. Ed O’Malley are already announced Republican gubernatorial candidates. Former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer just declared his plans to run for the Democratic nomination.
Despite Gov. Brownback’s poor job approval ratings, Republicans will still be favored to hold the state’s top position in deep red Kansas.