GOP clash


Brownback's radical agenda should draw new challenges.

Brownback's radical agenda should draw new challenges.

Democrats in Kansas now have a challenger to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.

Paul Davis, minority leader of the Kansas House and a Lawrence attorney, said he will wage a campaign focusing on such priorities as educating children, rewarding hard work, building a strong middle class and cooperating with one another.

While such ideas should resonate with all Kansans, Davis faces an uphill battle in attempting to unseat a Republican governor in a state where registered Republicans greatly outnumber Democrats — even at a time the sitting governor has pursued strategies and policies too questionable and controversial for many in his own party to embrace.

The centerpiece of Brownback's ultraconservative agenda has been a massive income tax-cut plan. As a result, lost revenue promises to undermine state funding for public schools, social services and other essential services.

Davis' supporters believe he has a shot because he would appeal to Democrats, independents and moderate Republicans alienated by the Brownback administration.

And while Kansans should indeed have a choice on Election Day, the question is whether someone else in the GOP will run against Brownback in the Republican primary.

Kansans deserve competitive, spirited races in primary and general elections. Contested races deliver the public debate over key issues that voters need to evaluate candidates.

Kansans also need to hear Brownback defend his agenda, especially with many Kansas Republicans troubled by the direction of their party and governor. A primary challenge and exchanges between Republicans would help voters better understand how the state landed on a path coveted by the governor and his allies.

That said, any Republican challenger should expect to be targeted with the same relentless campaign of misinformation that swept moderate Republicans out of the Legislature in 2012 — a movement fueled by the billionaire Koch brothers, and carried out by the Kansas Chamber and Americans for Prosperity.

Still, with many Republicans leery of another term for Brownback, someone in the GOP camp could mount a legitimate challenge.

Let's hope the state's more moderate Republicans — to include traditional conservatives not so extreme as ultraconservatives now in control — unveil a plan for as much.

comments powered by Disqus
I commented on a story, but my comments aren't showing up. Why?
We provide a community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day.
Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. We expect civil dialogue.
Name-calling, crude language and personal abuse are not welcome.
Moderators will monitor comments with an eye toward maintaining a high level of civility in this forum.

If you don't see your comment, perhaps you ...
... called someone an idiot, a racist, a moron, etc. Name-calling or profanity (to include veiled profanity) will not be tolerated.
... rambled, failed to stay on topic or exhibited troll-like behavior intended to hijack the discussion at hand.
... included an e-mail address or phone number, pretended to be someone you aren't or offered a comment that makes no sense.
... accused someone of a crime or assigned guilt or punishment to someone suspected of a crime.
... made a comment in really poor taste.