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Is Wiggins a Serious Candidate for Governor

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.

About Mike Schrant

Mike is one of those guys who has spent nearly a lifetime trying to figure out what he wants to do when he grows up. He has split time as a broadcaster and educator having first worked in radio in the early 1970’s while attending junior college. The two careers are directly connected because many of the 25 years as an educator were spent teaching broadcast journalism at the high school and college levels. Mike is married and has three adult children (no grandchildren yet) and enjoys sports, debating politics, gardening, landscaping-hauling rocks, and swapping stories with the "good old boys".