Gov. Jeff Colyer is taking his message to Kansans in whirlwind style. He is visiting all 105 counties in a “Get Out to Vote Tour” during the final weeks before the Aug. 7 primary.
Colyer met with Franklin County residents Monday afternoon at the Plaza Cinema, 209 S. Main St., Ottawa.
Colyer, who is a Republican candidate for governor, said Kansans want a governor that will listen to the people and get things done.
“That is how I operate,” he said. “Focus on Kansas and Kansas solutions. We are talking about how you govern. We have changed things. We have transparency. We are setting outcomes for our agency.”
Colyer became governor on Jan. 31 after Gov. Sam Brownback resigned to take a position in President Donald Trump’s administration. Colyer said his administration accomplished a lot in a short amount of time.
“We’ve changed the tone in Kansas,” Colyer said. “We increased funding for education, our credit rating and made sure we have more jobs. We will be able to keep taxes low and cut regulations.”
He said the Kansas unemployment rate dipped to 3.4 percent in July.
“The Kansas economy is starting to grow,” Colyer said. “We had about 10,500 new jobs in the past five months. We are seeing quality of life [improvements].”
He said state leaders made an investment in education with the new spending bill of more than $500 million spread over five years.
“We need to make it stable funding and get it into the classroom,” Colyer said. “As we grow, it means more education and more capital investment. There is no need for a tax increase. We know property taxes are too high.”
Colyer said Kansas’ credit rating improved for the first time in years in the latest Standard & Poors index.
“We are heading in the right direction,” Colyer said.
Colyer said this tour, which started Saturday and will run for two weeks, is a chance for him to meet Kansans and them to see his personality.
“They have a lot of things on their mind,” Colyer said. “We have challenges to deal with and we will. We are Kansas. We are optimistic. We get things done.”
Colyer’s political mentors were Kansas Senator Bob Dole and President Ronald Reagan.
“I am a conservative,” he said. “I started working for Bob Dole and ended up working for President Reagan. You know where I am coming from. We are going to keep moving in a positive direction. Kansas is a great state. We are going to do this together.”
Colyer said the foundation is built for him to bring a more prosperous state as governor.
“My vision is to create a Kansas where jobs are plentiful, businesses thrive, and we offer the best possible education for our children,” he said. “It has been an honor to serve as governor.”