It’s taken six years, but it looks like Kansas voters have finally seen enough of Gov. Sam Brownback’s “real live experiment” in supply-side economics.
Under Brownback’s tenure, Kansas has lurched from one government funding crisis to another, mostly thanks to budget-busting tax cuts that are the governor’s signature policies.
However, as The Wichita Eagle reports, several Brownback allies were soundly defeated in primary races on Tuesday.
In all, anti-Brownback Republicans won 10 out of 16 Senate primary contests against pro-Brownback incumbents, while Brownback allies lost seven primary contests against more moderate Republicans in the House.
Rep. Dan Hawkins, a pro-Brownback Republican who actually won his primary, declared the election to be “brutal, brutal, brutal” for Kansas conservatives. The state’s Democratic Party, meanwhile was happy just to have voters elect Republicans that are willing to properly fund the state’s schools.
“The earthquake you’re feeling isn’t fracking, it’s Brownback’s house of cards falling,” said Democratic staffer Tim Graham.
Republican Ed Berger defeated former Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce by running against Brownback’s cuts to higher education, and also slammed conservatives for swiping money from the state highway fund to fill budget gaps.
None of this ensures that Kansas will be able to reverse the damage that Brownback has done, of course, but The Kansas City Star notes that it puts “GOP moderates and Democrats tantalizingly close to effective control of the state’s legislative agenda next year.”
In other words, Brownback’s days of getting a free pass are effectively over.