The Republican nominee for Kansas state treasurer criticized Democratic incumbent Dennis McKinney on Wednesday about advertisements for the state-sponsored college savings program.


The Republican nominee for Kansas state treasurer criticized Democratic incumbent Dennis McKinney on Wednesday about advertisements for the state-sponsored college savings program.

The ads for the Learning Quest college savings plan stopped airing earlier this week, but Republican Ron Estes called a news conference to say it was inappropriate for McKinney to run the spots — in which he appears — so close to the Nov. 2 election.

"We should promote the program and not necessarily promote the individual," Estes told reporters.

McKinney's campaign said the ads, which have been broadcast statewide for several weeks, involve no state money and are run by American Century Investments, not the state treasurer's office. It noted the treasurer has a statutory duty to promote the program.

The advertising will be off the airwaves until after the election at McKinney's request. McKinney also noted that previous treasurers have run such ads into October.

Learning Quest is the state's college savings program, with $2.3 billion invested in 55,000 accounts for Kansas families. About $580 million has been invested by Kansas residents themselves.