Republican Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer announced Tuesday that he will run for Kansas governor in 2018, ending speculation that he would enter the race.
Colyer is set to take over the executive office for the remainder of current Gov. Sam Brownback's term; Brownback is expected to step down later this year for a diplomatic position in the Trump administration.
Speaking before the announcement, Colyer said he’ll bring more collaboration and a change in tone to the governor’s office.
“We will still have significant disagreements," Colyer said. "Everybody knows I worked for Bob Dole and Ronald Reagan, so you know where I’m coming from, but I’m listening to Kansans and I think there’s an opportunity for us to work together."
Like Brownback, Colyer is a conservative. He has opposed Medicaid expansion and says the state should focus on economic growth and low taxes.
Colyer is entering an already crowded race for the Republican nomination: The field of candidates running for governor includes Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer and several others.
Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio, a partner in the Kansas News Service.