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Politics, Elections and Government

Brownback Kicks Off Reelection Campaign With 'Road Map 2.0'

Alex Smith

Unveiling his reelection platform at an Overland Park rally Tuesday, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said he would work to create 100,000 private sector jobs over the next four years.

Brownback, speaking at the engineering firm BHC Rhodes, told an audience of several dozen enthusiastic supporters that he would continue his policy of keeping tax rates low to attract businesses and boost the economy.

“I want to see every one of your children and grandchildren be able to choose Kansas because it has the opportunities, it has the things here that they want to invest and put their lives into,” Brownback said.

In his nine-minute talk, Brownback said he would aggressively seek to bring "iconic" brands to the state to increase retail and event tourism.

As examples, he cited recently-announced plans for the construction of a new Kansas City, Kan., home for the U.S. Soccer Federation and the nearly completed Ikea retail furniture store in Merriam, Kan.

Brownback also announced plans to create urban revitalization zones to spur growth using tax incentives in high-poverty areas.

He said other elements of his platform, which he's calling "Road Map 2.0," would be introduced in coming weeks. Brownback called his 2010 election platform "Road Map for Kansas." 

Kevin Honomichl, president of BHC Rhodes, welcomed Brownback, saying the governor’s economic plans had allowed him to hire new employees.

The governor did not address mounting criticism of his fiscal policies. On Friday, the Legislature's nonpartisan research staff projected the state will face a budget shortfall of $238 million by the end of July 2016, according to the Associated Press — a year earlier than anticipated. 

Brownback is facing a tough fight against his challenger, Democrat Paul Davis, the House Minority Leader. A Rasmussen poll released Tuesday showed Brownback trailing Davis by 10 points. 

Brownback has touted the creation of 55,000 private-sector jobs since he took office in January 2011. But data released by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics in July show Kansas nonfarm job growth for January 2011 through June 2014 was a sluggish 3.5 percent, compared with a national average of 6.1 percent.

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