The parade of candidates seeking the Kansas governor’s office continues to grow: Republican former House member Mark Hutton says he’s running for the job.
Hutton founded a construction company based in Wichita that he ran for years before moving into politics.
When Hutton was in the Kansas House, he defied some fellow conservatives by arguing the state should reverse an income tax exemption for thousands of business owners. He offered a proposal last year that would have cut the food sales tax in exchange for reinstating the business income taxes.
Hutton says he’d bring that leadership to the governor’s office.
“I believe I’ve demonstrated in the past that I’m willing to make the hard decisions, the hard calls, that I’ll put good policy for the state ahead of political personal gain or party gain,” Hutton says.
He says he wants to bring that spirit to the job of governor.
“For me, it’s about communication. It’s about bringing people together to solve problems, not pushing them apart with philosophy,” Hutton says.
Hutton did not run for reelection last year, but legislators did reverse the business income tax exemption earlier this year as part of a tax increase.
The field of Republican candidates for Kansas governor also includes Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer.
Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio, a partner in the Kansas News Service. Follow him on Twitter @KPRKoranda.