I’m writing today to dispute a single point in the opinion piece published in the Ottawa Herald on May 31, 2018. It was penned by Martin Hawver, publisher of Hawver’s Capitol Report headlined: “Gubernatorial primary for Democrats brings multiple players.”
I am not writing to take issue with Hawver’s history of the recent Democratic gubernatorial primaries in Kansas, or any of the other points he makes in this opinion piece, save this one statement: “While there are two clear leaders — Sen. Laura Kelly, D-Topeka, and former state Rep. Josh Svaty, of Ellsworth and later Topeka — just how they come out is uncertain.” This caught my eye because the only polling data that has been made public on this year’s gubernatorial race so far comes from Fort Hays State University’s Docking Institute of Public Affairs, and it was not mentioned here. Specifically, this past April, the Docking Institute released a “Kansas Governor’s Race Poll — Spring 2018.” In that poll, the recognition of candidates Kelly (24.3 percent) and Svaty (19.9) was far below the most recognized Democratic candidate in the race. That is former two-time Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer, the most recognized Democratic candidate with 38.4 percent recognition. It bears mentioning that Wichita is, by a factor of two, the largest city in the state with a population of nearly of 400,000.
In his previous races for mayor of Wichita, Brewer won election in 2007 with 62 percent of the vote and won re-election in 2011 with 69 percent of the vote. For the record, I am a fan of Mr. Hawver’s reporting and punditry, wisdom and wit, but in this one instance, unbiased verifiable polling information exists from one of our Kansas Regent universities that shows Carl Brewer to be the front-runner.
Lieutenant governor candidate Brewer/Morrow 2018