Democratic state Senator Tom Holland is expected to announce soon that he is putting together an exploratory committee for a Kansas gubernatorial run. Holland, a first term senator, has been in the Kansas legislature since 2003. He would be the third Kansas Democratic party candidate to show interest in a run for the governor’s mansion, after Herbert West III and Tom Wiggins. Wiggins, who was the party front runner, dropped out of the race in December.
With the Republican nomination being nearly locked up by former Sen. Sam Brownback, the state Democratic party appears to be still actively looking for what they determine to be a "viable candidate," a low bar Holland seems to cross easily.
Holland, who began serving in the Legislature in 2003 as a member of
the House, has enough experience to be the face-saving candidate the
Democrats have been looking for, as opposed to just a placeholder.
"He’d be a good choice, because whoever they get has to want to
run," said Bob Beatty, Topeka political analyst. "You can tell if
somebody’s just going through the motions."
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Holland has had a mixed record on choice issues during his time in the legislature, voting for more reporting and regulation requirements at abortion clinics, but voting mostly against limiting the procedure itself, as well as against various amendments designed to give personhood rights to fetuses. This is still a stark difference in comparison to Brownback, who has made his career out of being a voice for anti-choice advocates.
The Kansas primary is August 3rd, 2010.