More than 100 hundred Kansas Republican leaders have endorsed Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s Democratic challenger Paul Davis. Brownback’s project has had bipartisan critics for a while now, but this is the biggest rebuke yet. The WSJ traces the developments that pushed many of the those 100 leaders away from him:
Mr. Brownback won the backing of lawmakers to cut the top income-tax rate by 25% as part of a plan to completely eliminate the tax, casting the policy as a model for Republican governors across the country. He also won the backing of the legislature to eliminate income taxes on non-wage income for many businesses.But the experiment has caused a steep drop in state revenues, while not yet delivering outsize economic growth. Those endorsing Mr. Davis pointed to the cuts as a main reason why they are breaking from the party. The list put out by the Davis campaign was dominated by former officeholders and party officials, some of whom hadn’t been elected in decades. Also several of those endorsing the Democrat were vocal critics of Mr. Brownback well before Tuesday.
The fact that at least some of these Republicans already opposed Brownback means that people will dispute the significance of this new rash of endorsements, but his program seems to be eroding his political support. Under Brownback, Kansas has been serving as a “laboratory” of red policies. But if his own party disowns him, the chances of this red revolution going national are slim indeed.