Republican Kris Kobach, from left to right, Libertarian Jeff Caldwell, independent Greg Orman, Democrat Laura Kelly and independent Rick Kloos participate in a gubernatorial debate at KWCH-TV, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018, in Wichita, Kan. (Dion Lefler/The Wichita Eagle via AP)

Kansas governor's race is referendum on notorious tax cuts

October 16, 2018 - 12:39 pm

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The dead-heat Kansas governor's race has become a referendum on how a Republican experiment in slashing income taxes went awry.

Democrat Laura Kelly and Republican Kris Kobach are arguing over what lessons came from the budget misery that followed tax cuts in 2012 and 2013 and whether the state needs a do-over.

Kelly is a veteran state senator who supported a successful effort last year to repeal most of the tax cuts championed by former GOP Gov. Sam Brownback. She argues that Kobach wants to bring back Brownback's fiscal experiment and even top it.

Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state, wants to return to cutting taxes but bristles at being described as another Brownback. He says he would avoid Brownback's mistakes by being more aggressive about controlling spending.

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