Kansas has been hurt — badly — by poor leadership.

As the state’s finances deteriorated because of his radical strategies, Gov. Sam Brownback should have set aside his ego and changed course.

He did otherwise, to include recently bashing state legislators who instead deserved praise for taking steps toward mending Kansas’ fiscal woes. After the Legislature rebuked Brownback by overriding his veto of a bill that dismantled his reckless income-tax cuts, the state’s credit ratings immediately improved.

But rather than acknowledge the progress, the governor whined about spending — which he did nothing to reduce.

He passed on an opportunity to make so-called allotments (cuts). He did not veto spending in the Legislature’s budget. He had no proposed budget cuts of his own.

He then admitted the override of his veto was better for him politically than being a problem solver.

And now, a Brownback ally complicit in Kansas’ recent decline believes she’s somehow qualified for higher office.

In what would be comedy gold if not so disturbing, ultraconservative Wichita Republican Susan Wagle said she’s considering runs for governor or the U.S. House of Representatives.

Watch her try to take credit for the Legislature’s recent attempts to right the financial ship, even though she did nothing but side with the governor.

She endorsed Brownback’s massive income tax-cut scheme from the start, and steadfastly defended it during a run as Senate president in which she failed to show any leadership in the face of a fiscal crisis.

Still, Wagle recently suggested she’d be “a leader who can manage the budget, can manage the Legislature and put forth a vision for Kansas.”

Sure, if the vision was total destruction of the state.

Voters also must reject the even more outlandish gubernatorial candidacy of Kris Kobach, the ultraconservative secretary of state who built a sordid reputation on voter suppression and anti-immigrant policies, and enthusiastically sides with the governor.

If Kansas is to enjoy a rebirth of commonsense values, Wagle, Kobach and other far-right extremists determined to force their ideology on the state, regardless of the cost, should not be in any position of power.

Like Brownback, they’ve long overstayed their welcome.

— The Garden City Telegram