TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican Gov. Jeff Colyer's campaign chairman plans to become a campaign co-chairman for independent candidate Greg Orman instead of endorsing GOP nominee Kris Kobach.
Orman's campaign announced Monday that former Kansas Farm Bureau President Steve Baccus will be its first campaign co-chairman. Baccus is an Ottawa County farmer who served 12 years as Farm Bureau president before his retirement from the post in 2014.
Colyer endorsed Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state, after Kobach won the GOP primary by 350 votes out of more than more than 317,000 cast. Colyer reiterated that endorsement Monday.
"The press release reported in the media this morning is the first we heard the news about Steve's endorsement," said Colyer in a news release. "While Steve can certainly campaign for whoever he likes, I have made my support for Republican candidate Kris Kobach very clear and encourage all Republicans to rally around our nominee for Governor."
The Farm Bureau had backed Colyer in the GOP primary.
Orman and the Democratic nominee, state Sen. Laura Kelly, of Topeka, are wooing Republican voters alienated by Kobach's in-your-face conservatism and advocacy of tough immigration policies.