Steve Baccus, who served as chairman of sitting GOP Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer's 2018 campaign, will not back the Republican nominee for governor this year. Instead, he has endorsed and signed on to co-chair independent Greg Orman's campaign -- citing his desire to put Kansas' interests first.
“I made it clear when I joined Governor Colyer’s campaign that I believed Kansas needed a leader who was committed to the state,” said Baccus.
“While my candidate in the primary election did not succeed, I remain committed to ensuring that Kansas has the best leaders possible. It is clear to me that Greg Orman and John Doll are the most qualified leaders to grow the Kansas economy and lead our state."
He also added:
“Greg Orman knows how to create jobs, he’s done it throughout his entire career. Greg Orman is the only candidate running for Governor who has created hundreds of jobs right here in Kansas. John Doll is the only Lieutenant Governor running who is from Western Kansas. He and his family have been involved in agribusiness in Western Kansas for three-generations. Together, Greg Orman and John Doll represent all of Kansas and present the best partnership for the future of our great state.”
This announcement comes not long after the contentious and bitter GOP primary, where Gov. Colyer and Kris Kobach were in such a tight race that a recount was forced. In the end, though, Kobach was able to edge out his opponent by about 350 votes.
Baccus is not only Colyer's former campaign chairman, he is also a long-time former president of the Kansas Farm Bureau -- a position he held for 14 years. The rapport he has among farmers and others in the agricultural sector could prove valuable in rural Kansas.
“I am honored to have Steve join the Orman Doll team. Steve’s knowledge of the Agricultural sector will be invaluable as we look to grow Kansas and meet the challenges of the future. I am excited to have Steve’s endorsement, and to have him as a trusted advisor," said Orman.
Baccus is the first co-chair to sign on to Orman's campaign. It's particularly noteworthy because it is a defection from not only party-first politics, but his former candidate's pick as Colyer immediately endorsed Kobach after he conceded the primary race.