Do Kansas Democrats have a candidate who can go the distance with Sam Brownback in next years’ Governor’s race?
Political observers in the state are beginning to look at Tom Wiggins who emerged as a candidate last week after appointing a treasurer for a 2010 bid.
Wiggins is a former pharmaceutical company executive who returned to Kansas from California early this year and is making his fist bid for political office.
Democrats needed a candidate because both Governor Mark Parkinson and State Democratic Party Chairman Larry Gates have declined to run.
20-year plus State Senate veteran Janis Lee, a Kensington Democrat who might have some pull in the more conservative western part of the state, made it clear in a radio interview at KDNS earlier this year that she has no intention of making a run.
University of Kansas Political Scientist Burdett Loomis, a former staffer for Kathleen Sebelius, says, “Wiggins doesn’t have a negative image but he’s also got a name identification of zero.”
Most politicos say Wiggins has no chance of beating U.S. Senator Sam Brownback unless he builds up a positive image in Kansas quickly. Doing that will likely require Wiggins make a large investment of his own money.
All this makes January 10th a very important date in the governor’s race because that is the day the candidates must file their next campaign finance report. Wiggins’ finance report will give Democrats an indication of just how serious the political novice is.