Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis announced Tuesday that Jill Docking will be his running mate in his bid to challenge Republican Gov. Sam Brownback in 2014.
Docking, 57, whose husband was lieutenant governor in the 1980s, was introduced Tuesday in Prairie Village as Davis kicked off a bus tour that will also take them to Topeka, Salina and Wichita. Docking ruled out her own run at governor this summer, saying she didn't know what her political future held.
"I've known Paul Davis for 20 years," Docking said in a statement. "I know his commitment to Kansas, his commitment to our schools and his dedication to growing our economy. He is a moderate, common-sense leader willing to sit down and reason with anyone to solve problems and get Kansas back on the right track. I'm energized and ready to get to work making him our next governor."
Brownback, who is yet to formally announce his re-election campaign, won his first term as governor in 2010.
Docking is an investment adviser in Wichita who served on the Board of Regents from 2007 to 2010. In 1996, she was Brownback's Democratic opponent for the U.S. Senate, garnering 43 percent of the vote to Brownback's 54 percent. Her husband, Tom, is a former lieutenant governor and the son and grandson of Kansas governors.
Davis, 41, is the Kansas House minority leader. This is the Lawrence attorney's first bid at statewide election. Davis announced that he was seeking his party's nomination in September.
"As a businesswoman, Jill is an expert in making wise investments for the future," Davis said in a statement announcing his choice. "Jill is an outstanding addition to this team and together we will run a strong, Kansas-focused campaign."
Docking's addition to the Davis team will help give the Democratic ticket name recognition, which should help in fundraising efforts.
Brownback began 2013 with more than $518,000 in campaign funds, and Democrats concede he's likely to have plenty of money for a re-election bid. Brownback raised almost $3.1 million for his successful 2010 campaign, almost half of it in 2009.