Governor Jeff Colyer visited Beloit on Monday morning. It was a brief stop on his primary election campaign as he makes appearances in all 105 Kansas counties leading up to the primary election next week.
Gov. Colyer spent about 20 minutes at Kettle in downtown Beloit, having made his first stop of the day in Osborne County. After walking the room and greeting about 40 people in attendance, he spoke of what a great time it was to be traveling across the state during county fair season. It is an ambitious schedule, set to visit every Kansas county over a two-week period.
The interim-governor, finishing out the term of former governor and current U.S. Diplomat Sam Brownback, is looking to earn the Republican nomination next week. His next goal would be to remove the interim tag from his title as the state’s top executive, come January, with a victory in November.
Just past the halfway mark of his statewide trek, Colyer likened the whirlwind campaign trail trip to a current “snapshot” of the state. He announced that former U.S. Senator Bob Dole endorsed he and Lt. Gov. Tracey Mann last week. Colyer, a Hays native, knows the elder statesman from Russell well. Having interned under Sen. Dole before taking a White House Fellow position, working in Internal Affairs, under Presidents Regan and Bush in the late 1980’s. Gov. Colyer and his wife, Ruth, have three college aged daughters.
Following a failed 2002 run at the U.S. House of Representatives in Kansas’ Third Congressional District, Colyer was elected to the Kansas House in Topeka from District 48 in 2006. In 2008, he was elected to the Kansas Senate representing District 37. He was tabbed, in 2010, as the running mate of then U.S. Senator Sam Brownback in a successful bid for Kansas Governor.
Colyer served a full term as Lt. Governor, and more than three years of a second term into 2018. In February, Colyer assumed the governor’s office from Brownback who resignation to take a Trump appointed ambassador position on International Religious Freedom.
Colyer spoke briefly of his time as a plastic surgeon by trade. After receiving his Doctorate in Medicine from KU in 1986, he specialized in craniofacial/pediatric plastic surgery. He mentioned his volunteer work with the International Medical Corps in Kosovo and Sierra Leone. He also volunteered as a combat zone surgeon in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Rwanda.
His opening statements on biography and volunteerism segued into the theme of Colyer’s stump speech.
Colyer acknowledged, however, that the road to serving as the example he claimed Kansas to be for the rest of the world has not been straight and smooth.
He reviewed the plan he approved from the legislature this year to increase school spending over a period of five years. He did not mention any details about the continuing case in the Kansas Supreme Court which will require the issue to be addressed again next legislative session.
Tune in on Wednesday for more of Gov. Colyer’s visit to Beloit right here on you #1 source for local election coverage, KD Country 94 and Z-96.3 The Lake.