State Sen. Laura Kelly wins Democratic nomination for Governor

Published: Aug. 7, 2018 at 8:26 PM CDT
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A veteran Kansas legislator has won the Democratic primary for governor after stressing her Statehouse experience and fending off questions about her voting record.

State Sen. Laura Kelly of Topeka defeated former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer, former Kansas Agriculture Secretary Joshua Svaty and two other candidates Tuesday.


"Enough is enough," Kelly said.

Her message to her supporters was to help Kansas move past the "failed Brownback and Colyer tax experiment."

"Jeff Colyer was Sam Brownback's second in command, his lieutenant, his right hand man, his chief enabler and and his number one cheerleader," Kelly said. "And Kris Kobach, he's Sam Brownback on steroids."

The 68-year-old Kelly has served 14 years in the Senate and is the top Democrat on the budget committee. She stressed those credentials in running and suggested that she was best able to fix problems created by Republican policies.

Svaty was disappointed in the loss to Kelly, but congratulated her victory.

"The votes simply did not come out the way we thought they would, and that's politics, he said."

"I have called the Kelly Campaign, we have conceded I've congratulated her, we wish her well in this campaign."

Kelly faced criticism from Svaty and Brewer for votes she made in representing a GOP-leaning district for looser gun laws and for some of the nation's toughest voter identification requirements.

But she also had the backing of former two-term Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.