Gubernatorial candidate Jim Barnett said the state of Kansas has “gone off the rails” in recent years, and he wants to get it back on track.
Barnett made a campaign stop Tuesday in Leavenworth with his wife, Rosie Hansen, who he recently named as his lieutenant governor running mate.
Barnett, who describes himself as a lifelong Republican, will be running in a crowded field for the governorship.
There are seven GOP candidates, five Democratic candidates, one Libertarian candidate and one independent candidate in the race.
He said the top six issues on his platform are agriculture, economic development, education, health care, tourism and attracting young professionals to move to or remain in the state.
“I believe we have to balance the budget and make an investment in the state,” he said.
Barnett, a physician for 35 years, said he is proud to have his wife as his running mate.
Hansen has vast experience working as a foreign service officer for the State Department, with overseas assignments in Ecuador, Germany, Bosnia, Australia, Afghanistan and Thailand, as well as various assignments in Washington, D.C.
“I’m happy to be his running mate,” she said. “I realize the contributions I could make.”
Hansen said visiting with Kansans during the campaign has been enlightening.
“Their stories are amazing,” she said.
Barnett announced his candidacy for governor in June 2017. Since then, he has been traveling to all corners of the state. He said that in the last year, he has logged 73,000 miles in his truck while on the campaign trail.
He said that during the campaign, he often asks people what they want in the next governor.
“They know the problems, they just want someone to listen,” he said.
He said that people want government officials to work together.
He said that is a primary reason why he chose #OneKansas as his campaign slogan.