Finch decides against running for attorney general

State Rep. Blaine Finch, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, guides the panel through the debate.

State Rep. Blaine Finch, the third most influential Republican in the Kansas House, has decided against running for Kansas attorney general.

“Running for Attorney General would require me to give up my business and
jeopardize their jobs and our work,” said Finch, a lawyer.

“I am not willing to do that. My priority has always been to do what’s right for my family and my neighbors, and that will continue to be my focus.

“While there may be a time for me to serve our state on a broader level, now is not that time,” he said.

Finch, 44, has been in the House since 2013 and is now in his fifth term representing parts of Franklin and Osage counties.

The Ottawa Republican said earlier this year he was looking at running for attorney general, but there had been little indication since then that he would run.

Most recently, Finch did not attend the Olathe Republican Party picnic, which drew most of the major statewide candidates , including the two candidates for attorney general, Republicans Kellie Warren and Kris Kobach.

Warren and Kobach have kept high profiles in recent weeks as they have campaigned across the state.

There had been no word from Finch until Monday, although there had been plenty of doubt that he would join the race for Kansas attorney general.

Some Republicans had questioned whether Finch had much of a path in the Republican primary, given his reputation as more of a moderate early in his legislative tenure.

Finch withheld endorsing either Kobach or Warren.

“We must have a competent attorney enter this race. One who truly understands the
law and who knows how to win in the courtroom,” Finch said.

“I know there are many such attorneys in our state, and I am hopeful a qualified candidate will step forward,” he said.

Warren said she looked forward to working with Finch in the future as a member of the Legislature.

“Having worked alongside Speaker Pro Tem Finch during my time in the House, I understand the work that he puts into his job,” Warren said in a statement.

“This was a thoughtful personal decision for him and I look forward to working with him and the rest of House leadership next session to continue holding Gov. Kelly accountable,” she said