Gov. Jeff Colyer scored the coveted campaign endorsement of the Kansas Farm Bureau and piled on with official backing of the Kansas State Troopers Association.

Democratic candidate Laura Kelly banked a series of labor endorsements that included the 20,000-member Carpenters' Regional Council of St. Louis and Kansas City, the Sheet Metal Air Rail and Transportation Workers, and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local No. 1360. The state senator also logged support from former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and a cluster of Democratic Party legislators and leaders.

MainPAC, the political action committee of the MainStream Coalition in Johnson County, endorsed Kelly in the Democratic primary and former state Sen. Jim Barnett in the GOP primary for governor.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach, waging a battle for the Republican Party's nomination in the Aug. 7 primary, rocked the race with an endorsement by musician Ted Nugent. On Tuesday in Wichita, Kobach will revel in a repeat performance by Donald Trump Jr. It isn't President Donald Trump, but unlocking that GOP endorsement could tip the competitive balance in red-state Kansas.

Democrat Josh Svaty is championed by former Kansas Gov. John Carlin and Bill Kassebaum, son of former U.S. Sen. Nancy Kassebaum.

On Monday, Colyer is expected to receive personal backing of Kansas Senate Majority Leader Jeff Longbine, an Emporia Republican. The news conference will be at Longbine's car dealership.

Does all this one-up commotion matter to voters?

"There's an old saying in competitive elections: Everything matters," said Bob Beatty, a Washburn University political science professor. "In non-competitive ones, sure, who cares. But in close elections, they can be very valuable."

Conventional wisdom suggests blowout races were rarely transformed by endorsements drawn from business groups, community organizations or prominent individuals. Endorsements can serve as shorthand for the undecided. They can generate financial contributions and a wave of volunteers.

In the 2018 contested campaigns for governor, candidates have worked hard to secure and publicize endorsements to sway potential voters.

"A real key to the endorsement is getting the word out," Beatty said. "Candidates will be sure to publicize those endorsements in their speeches and ads as much as possible so that even people who just identify with the group feel closer to the candidate."

They will be cognizant that people of different political leanings view endorsements in different ways. A Morning Consult poll of 2,000 registered U.S. voters in March showed Democrats believe former President Barack Obama carried the most weight with them. On the other hand, independents would turn first to their spouse for counsel. Republicans in the poll said they would rely on Republican Party leaders before listening to Trump.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, a Topeka Democrat and the longest-serving legislator in Kansas history, said endorsements in the state tend to be more influential when candidates were closely aligned on key issues.

"Endorsements have more of an impact in primary elections than general elections," he said. "You're touching base with partisan Democrats and Republicans."

In extreme circumstances, lack of an endorsement could damage a candidate's prospects. In June, Lawrence attorney Sarah Swain confirmed she displayed for years in her office a poster depicting violence against a law enforcement officer. She apologized and said it was meant to symbolize a defense lawyer's rigorous search for the truth from individuals investigating alleged crimes.

Reporting about the poster followed the shooting deaths of Wyandotte County deputies Theresa King and Patrick Rohrer.

In a sharply worded statement, Democratic Party executive director Ethan Corson couldn't bring himself to refer to Swain by her first name. He did so knowing Swain would win the Democratic primary because no one else filed for the race.

"We strongly condemn and reject any depiction of violence against law enforcement, including the image from Swain's law firm," Corson said. "We did not recruit or encourage Swain to run for attorney general."

Dismissive comments of Democratic Party leaders could cripple her general election bid against incumbent Attorney General Derek Schmidt, a Republican.

"That can matter a lot because it means the nominee will not have access to party resources, workers and money," Beatty said. "It obviously doesn't happen very often. Because what kind of party has nominees that it doesn't even like?"

Kobach, who won the loyalty of Trump Jr., said he was excited to bring the president's son back to Kansas. The upcoming $1,500-per-table fundraiser will be catered by Chester's Chophouse, a restaurant owned by Kobach's running mate, Wink Hartman.

"Learn why he, and so many other conservatives, are endorsing the Kobach-Hartman team," Kobach said.

With a farm in Berryton as backdrop, Colyer accepted the endorsement from the Farm Bureau, a commitment Kansas Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer also coveted.

It prompted one former GOP candidate for governor, Wichita businessman Mark Hutton, to urge Selzer to suspend his campaign and join with Colyer to defeat Kobach. Selzer will be on the ballot.

"We are very pleased to receive such a meaningful endorsement from an organization that is so closely tied with our state's agriculture community," said Colyer, who became governor in January upon resignation of Gov. Sam Brownback. "My administration will work closely with the Farm Bureau to ensure that the farm community always has a voice in Topeka."