Former Republican submits signatures to run as Independent in Kansas gubernatorial race

State senator Dennis Pyle will run for Kansas Governor as an independent.
State senator Dennis Pyle will run for Kansas Governor as an independent.(Senator Pyle's office)
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 12:58 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (KWCH) - The Kansas Secretary of State Office confirmed on Monday that Dennis Pyle and his running mate Kathleen Garrison have submitted an independent petition for Governor and Lt. Governor of Kansas.

Pyle needed 5,000 signatures to launch his independent bid for governor in November. In a release on Monday, he said he collected submitted 8,894 signatures.

Pyle announced his intention to file for Governor on June 7, 2022, following his change of party affiliation earlier this year from Republican to Unaffiliated. Should he successfully qualify, Pyle will join the Republican and Democrat winners of the August 2 primaries.

“It is very likely historical to have three state senators on the ballot together for governor in the general election. Having served six consecutive sessions with both former Senator (Derek) Schmidt and former Senator (Laura) Kelly, my fiscal and social conservative record stands in stark contrast to their liberal voting records, they are two peas in a pod,” said Pyle.

The former Republican turned Independent senator from Hiawatha. He’s served in the Kansas Senate from 2005 to the present and in the House from 2001-2002. Kathleen Garrison is a business owner from Haysville who has worked in the field for over 25 years and has also worked in law.

The secretary of state’s office will have to verify the validity of the signatures to determine whether his and Garrison’s names make the ballot in November for the independent ticket. If the petition is approved, Pyle will likely face off against Democratic Governor Laura Kelly and Republican Derek Schmidt in the Nov. 8 general election.

Kansas Republicans are concerned that Pyle’s run could hinder the chances of presumed candidate Derek Schmidt in November.

“As hardworking Kansans are struggling due to Joe Biden’s inflation crisis, Dennis Pyle is playing games with their future by knowingly providing Laura Kelly the only path to a second term,” said Shannon Pahls, KSGOP Executive Director. “Dennis Pyle doesn’t care about Kansans. Dennis Pyle only cares about Dennis Pyle. A vote for him is a vote for four more years of Laura Kelly and liberal Democrat control.”

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