Former Kansas Governor Mike Hayden is the latest Republican to endorse Democratic state Senator Laura Kelly for governor. He joins fellow former GOP Governor Bill Graves in officially backing Kelly.
Hayden cited Kelly's ability to bring people together to solve problems. “I’ve been a registered Republican for over 50 years," Hayden said. "I seldom vote for Democratic candidates, but in this race, I strongly support Laura Kelly. Senator Kelly has worked hard and knows state government and the budget front to back. She is well-prepared to be governor and to lead our state through challenging times. After much thought and analyzing this race and the candidates, I understand (independent candidate) Greg Orman cannot win. While he may have something to offer the state of Kansas, this is not the year. After eight years of crisis, we cannot elect someone who wants to repeat the disasters of the past. Kris Kobach has promised to do just that – risking the future of our great state." Hayden said Kelly will "get our state back on the right track. She will invest in our schools, highways and natural resources so our state and our people can have a bright future."
Kelly said she was honored to have Hayden’s support. "I have always admired Governor Hayden’s commitment to Kansas and his work on our natural resources, wildlife, and parks. Throughout his time in the House, as Kansas governor, and as a cabinet secretary, Governor Hayden worked to make our communities and state better. And he always put the best interests of our state first.”
Prior to serving as the 41st governor of Kansas, Hayden served as Speaker of the Kansas House. After serving as governor, Hayden served as the Kansas Secretary of Wildlife and Parks for three administrations, both Republican and Democratic. During his tenure as governor, Hayden was also Chair of the National Republican Governors’ Association
Current Republican Governor Jeff Colyer, who lost in the primary, has endorsed the Republican nominee, Kris Kobach. Former Governor Sam Brownback has yet to issue an endorsement.