Former Republican joins Kansas Gov’s race as independent

Pyle is an Independent senator from Hiawatha.
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 1:31 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas State Senator Dennis Pyle hopes to be a third option for Kansans when they vote for Governor in November.

Pyle, and his running mate Kathleen Garrison submitted their independent petition for Governor and Lt. Governor of Kansas at 11 a.m. Monday morning.

In a release, Pyle said 5,000 signatures from registered voters were needed to get on the November ballot, and he turned in 8,894. The Kansas Sec. of State’s Office is now working to determine whether or not those are valid.

Pyle is an Independent senator from Hiawatha. He previously was a Republican before officially declaring he was “unaffiliated” earlier this year. He’s served in the Kansas Senate since 2005, and in the House from 2001-2002.

Senator Pyle stated, “It is very likely historical to have three state senators on the ballot together for governor in the general election. Having served six consecutive sessions with both former Senator Schmidt and former Senator Kelly, my fiscal and social conservative record stands in stark contrast to their liberal voting records, they are two peas in a pod.”

Pyle further added, “Currently, there is no choice for voters. Liberal vs. liberal. When our petition is confirmed, voters will have real choice and definitive contrast. When comparing votes on the issues, I am the conservative choice, without me voters only have liberal choice.”

If the petition is approved, Pyle will likely face off against Democratic Governor Laura Kelly and Republican Derek Schmidt in the Nov. 8 general election.

Pyle announced his intentions to run for Governor in early June, and Republicans are concerned that Pyle entering the race will hinder the presumed candidate Derek Schmidt’s chances in November.

“As hardworking Kansans are struggling due to Joe Biden’s inflation crisis, Dennis Pyle is playing games with their future by knowingly providing Laura Kelly the only path to a second term,” said Shannon Pahls, KSGOP Executive Director. “Dennis Pyle doesn’t care about Kansans. Dennis Pyle only cares about Dennis Pyle. A vote for him is a vote for four more years of Laura Kelly and liberal Democrat control.”

“Democrat political operatives, who know a majority of Kansans want a new governor, backed this effort to get a third-party vanity candidate who has no chance of winning on the November ballot,” said CJ Grover, Derek Schmidt’s Campaign Manager. “While Democrats might have gotten their spoiler, Laura Kelly is still going to lose the election because Kansans know a vote for fake conservative Dennis Pyle is a vote for four more years of Laura Kelly. After all, liberal Democrats collected signatures for Pyle, and Pyle admitted today that his intention is to split the Republican vote to help Kelly. Sad.”

Pyle is a 4th generation grain and livestock farmer. He and his wife Jennifer have been married 42 years and have six daughters and 12 grandchildren.

Garrison is described as a business owner of 25 years and has worked in the field of law. She is a single mother of eight children and six grand children. Garrison serves on the Clearwater USD 264 Board of Education and was raised in Cheney, Kansas.

Sen. Dennis Pyle (right) and Kathleen Garrison (left) at the Kansas Sec. of State's office...
Sen. Dennis Pyle (right) and Kathleen Garrison (left) at the Kansas Sec. of State's office following petitions submission to be on the Nov. 2022 ballot.(Submitted)

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