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Former Gov. Jeff Colyer announces cancer diagnosis, drops out of race for Kansas governor

Colyer, Kobach trade barbs after straw poll
Posted at 12:35 PM, Aug 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-30 13:35:17-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Former Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer has ended his bid for the 2022 Republican gubernatorial nomination “to be treated for prostate cancer and focus on his medical practice,” the campaign announced Monday.

Colyer, a native of Hays, Kansas, doctor with a Johnson County plastic/craniofacial surgery practice in Overland Park.

“While I have always focused on helping others, for the next few weeks I am going to focus on my health,” he said in a statement announcing the decision to drop out of the governor’s race. “I was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer like my father and grandfather. After treatment, I am confident for a full recovery. Given these challenges, Ruth and I have decided to withdraw from the Governor’s race.”

Colyer was elected as lieutenant governor in 2010, running on a ticket with Sam Brownback.

When Brownback joined the Trump administration as an ambassador in January 2018, Colyer took over as governor for the final year of the term.

Colyer ran for reelection in 2018, but lost to Kris Kobach in the Republican primary. Kobach subsequently lost to Gov. Laura Kelly in the general election.

Colyer said he will continue to practice medicine and perform charity work related to global war zones.

“To Kansans, I know you love our great state as much as Ruth and I do,” Colyer said in a statement. “Kansas is the true heart of America. It is an honor of a lifetime to serve you. Ruth and I will continue to find ways to lead Kansas forward."

After dropping out, Colyer, who also served in the Kansas House of Representatives and Kansas Senate, endorsed Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt in next year’s Republican primary.

Businessman Chris LaPorte is now Schmidt’s only challenger for the Republican nomination.