Mark Hutton Courtesy photo Courtesy photo
Mark Hutton Courtesy photo Courtesy photo

Politics & Government

Wichita businessman Mark Hutton considering run for governor

By Jonathan Shorman

jshorman@wichitaeagle.com

June 23, 2017 03:50 PM

UPDATED June 23, 2017 05:10 PM

TOPEKA

Wichita businessman Mark Hutton may join the Republican race for governor, he said Friday.

Hutton, a former state representative, told The Eagle he is weighing a run.

“I am looking pretty seriously at whether or not I want to take a run at that office,” Hutton said.

He said he would prefer to make a decision “sooner rather than later” and that he expects the call sometime in July at the latest.

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If he runs, Hutton would join a growing field of GOP hopefuls. He indicated in an interview that he would attempt to stake out a middle ground between the party’s moderate and conservative wings.

“There’s good ideas on both sides, and if we can get the conversation a little bit more in the middle, the state’s going to be better off and so is the party,” Hutton said.

Who’s running for governor in Kansas?

Currently, Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Wichita businessman Wink Hartman are considered the more conservative candidates in the race. Ed O’Malley and Jim Barnett are thought of as more moderate.

Hutton, who owns a construction company, chose not to seek re-election to the Legislature last fall.

Hutton drew attention in the Capitol for his criticism of the tax exemption for limited liability companies and other businesses. This spring, lawmakers voted to eliminate the exemption.

A candidacy by Hutton would add another Wichita candidate to the race, in addition to Hartman and former mayor Carl Brewer, who is running for the Democratic nomination. House Minority Leader Jim Ward, a Wichita Democrat, is also considering a run.

Jonathan Shorman: 785-296-3006, @jonshorman

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