Former KBI director endorses Mattivi in A.G.’s race

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Republican attorney general candidate Tony Mattivi picked up four endorsements from law enforcement Thursday, including the former head of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the former Johnson County sheriff.

Former KBI Director Bob Blecha, Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter, former Johnson County Sheriff Frank Denning, and Phillips County Sheriff Charles Radabaugh endorsed Mattivi’s campaign for attorney general.

Blecha was the KBI director from 2007 to 20011. He was appointed to the position by former Democratic Kansas Attorney General Paul Morrison.

“Kansas needs an attorney general like Tony Mattivi,” Blecha said in a statement.

“With his experience handling high profile cases like the Garden City domestic terror threat and the bombing of the USS Cole, as well as taking down drug cartels and traffickers, he has the know-how to keep our state safe and put criminals behind bars.”

Also endorsing Mattivi is Denning, who served as Johnson County sheriff from 2005 to 2017 and is the brother of former Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning.

“It’s no doubt that Tony is the best person for this job,” Denning said in a statement.

Bob Blecha

“His extensive career working with law enforcement to put criminals behind bars and keep our communities safe is just what our state needs in an attorney general.

He also got the support of Easter, sheriff for Sedgwick County since  2012.

“It is critical that we elect an experienced prosecutor to run the attorney general’s office,” Easter said in a statement.

Jeff Easter

“Not only has Tony worked in the AG’s office prosecuting cases in Kansas, but he has prosecuted terrorists on the world stage,” he said.

Mattivi is seeking the Republican nomination in a race against former Secretary of State Kris Kobach and state Sen. Kellie Warren, a Leawood lawyer.

Last July, Kobach secured support from 10 county sheriffs in his bid for Kansas attorney general.

Kobach announced that he had support from Shawnee County Sheriff Brian Hill and nine others from across the state, including sheriffs from Ford, Wichita, Leavenworth, Linn, Pawnee and Ness counties.

Warren, meanwhile, received the endorsement from current Johnson County Sheriff Calvin Hayden.