Tag Archives: Wink Hartman

Unelecteds and Opens

By Jim Ellis

June 12, 2017 — It was always known that a large number of 2017-18 cycle governors’ races would be open contests, but finding several unelected incumbents running to hold their new positions is an unforeseen nuance.

In three states, and possibly soon a fourth, governors have been appointed to Trump administration positions or forced from office, thus allowing the lieutenant governor to move into the state’s top position.

South Carolina’s Nikki Haley, now UN Ambassador; Terry Branstad of Iowa becoming US Ambassador to China and Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley being forced from office for misappropriation of state funds have made Henry McMaster (SC), Kim Reynolds (IA), and Kay Ivey (AL) overnight governors. While on paper and in practice this is a big advantage for the former lieutenant governors in running for the state’s top position, none of them have easy campaign roads, and not even for their respective party nominations.

Last week’s announcement from Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) that he will enter his state’s open gubernatorial contest next year may soon lead to him battling a new incumbent if on-again, off-again Washington, DC appointment rumors eventually prove true.

Speculation has abounded that President Trump will tap Gov. Sam Brownback (R-KS) for an open United Nations position, or another associated with foreign policy. Though such talk has been a subject of discussion since February and he has yet to be appointed, it is unclear if such will ever happen. Should it, however, then Secretary Kobach, oil businessman Wink Hartman, and ex-state Rep. Ed O’Malley will have to face a new sitting Republican governor, Jeff Colyer, the current lieutenant governor.

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Special Elections Mounting — House

By Jim Ellis

Dec. 15, 2016 — Just as the 2016 election cycle ended with the Louisiana run-off elections last Saturday, a new round of voting is about to begin.

President-Elect Donald Trump’s selection of Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT-AL) as Interior Secretary adds yet another future special election to the growing number of House and Senate odd-numbered year electoral contests.

In addition to Zinke, President-Elect Trump has selected House colleagues Tom Price (R-GA-6; Health and Human Services) and Mike Pompeo (R-KS-4; CIA Director) for Administration appointments. In California, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has appointed Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA-34) to replace Sen.-Elect Kamala Harris (D-CA) as the state’s Attorney General. All of these members will be resigning their current seats immediately before taking their new offices.

Here’s how things are beginning to formulate in the House (we looked at the Senate yesterday):

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Tiahrt Returns for a Kansas Republican Primary Challenge

The incumbent primary challenges are far from over. Yesterday afternoon, in a move that had been discussed for some time but had not crystallized until the last few days, former Kansas Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R) announced his intent to challenge two-term Congressman Mike Pompeo (R), the man who succeeded him in 2011. Tiahrt left his Wichita-anchored US House seat to run unsuccessfully for the Senate in the 2010 election (lost to then-Rep. Jerry Moran in the GOP primary, 45-50 percent).

In his announcement address before a room full of supporters in Wichita, Tiahrt laid out his differences with the incumbent, and even the House Republican leadership. He expressed disappointment with what he termed as the way Pompeo and the leadership are giving away too much in the national ideological fight. He criticized Pompeo for not fighting hard enough over losing local jobs to other states and countries and cited specific examples, particularly in the local aviation industry.

Tiahrt said Pompeo’s position pushing American military involvement in Syria, his “funding” of Obamacare, and approval of the NSA listening to Americans’ private conversations and reading emails delineate  Continue reading >