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Libertarian Gubernatorial Candidate Umbehr Speaks At WSU

Abigail Wilson

Libertarian candidate for Kansas Governor Keen Umbehr spent some time with a political science class at Wichita State on Tuesday. Umbehr will face incumbent Republican Governor Sam Brownback and Democrat candidate Paul Davis in the upcoming November election. KMUW’s Abigail Wilson was in the classroom…

The group of students in Tuesday’s presentation were both interested in and entertained by Libertarian candidate for governor Keen Umbehr, who, while standing in front of a hastily erased chalkboard, told students how he went from being a trash collector to a battle-hardened attorney. He paced back and forth at the podium as he addressed the class.

“Now most polls, they don’t include me. They include Brownback and Davis. What kind of legitimate poll is that? What if they just include me and Davis and cut Brownback out--would that be a legitimate poll?" Umbehr asks. "No. We’ve been campaigning for over a year now.”

Credit Abigail Wilson
Supports of Keen Umbehr hold up signs at the gubernatorial debate at the 2014 Kansas State Fair. Umbehr did not participate in the debate.

If elected, Umbehr says he will demand that a fair tax law be passed. He has repeatedly questioned the fairness of a tax policy that he says allows 191,000 Kansas businesses to pay no state income tax, while wage earners carry the burden.

“This tax policy the governor has is insidious," he says. "1.4 million people that earn payroll checks are going to pay all the income tax. What’s the Fourteenth Amendment say? Equal protection under the law. Does that sound like equal protection under the law? No."

Umbehr is running as a conservative Libertarian. He was registered as a Republican until August of last year. A poll released Monday by Rasmussen Reports lists the Kansas election for governor as a toss up and says the race is tighter than it’s been all year. Umbehr’s name was not included in the poll data.

Follow Abigail Wilson on Twitter: @AbigailKMUW