Court rules against out-of-state gubernatorial candidates


A Shawnee County judge on Thursday agreed to keep out-of-state gubernatorial candidates off the ballot although no specific Kansas law addresses the question.

District Judge Teresa Watson handed down the declaratory judgment at the request of Attorney General Derek Schmidt who was worried that out-of-state candidates could muddy the election for voters. The ruling came the day before the June 1 deadline for Kansas candidates to file for office.

Schmidt had said as many as 10 candidates from out of state has signaled their intent to run for Kansas governor. One candidate – Andy Maskin of Queens – had already filed the paperwork to run and paid the filing fee.

While no single law expressly requires gubernatorial candidates to live in Kansas, the attorney general argued that several laws enacted over the years indicate that it’s the Legislature’s intent for gubernatorial candidates to be residents of the state.

The judge agreed.

While there is no one law banning out-of-state candidates, Watson said there were a variety of other statutes implying a residency requirement.

“It is clear that the Kansas Legislature intended to require candidates for governor and lieutenant governor to be Kansas residents,” Watson wrote.

Schmidt said he was satisfied with the ruling. Never in more than 150 years had an out-of-state candidate been on the ballot for governor in Kansas.

“We appreciate the court’s impartial assessment clarifying the law,” the attorney general said in a statement.

“Today’s judgment confirms that our reading of the law is correct: Current law requires candidates for governor and lieutenant governor of Kansas to reside in Kansas.”