Getting to run for the office of governor in Kansas as a resident of another state is nothing but a lark — at least until someone gets serious about such a campaign.

Unless the law is changed allowing a resident of another state to launch a campaign, the possibility exists that someone outside the state who is equipped with plentiful resources, including the potential backing of a high-powered political group, could make a race interesting.

For that reason, and the embarrassment brought on Kansas by many out-of-state pretenders wanting to be part of a race that is already full of aspirants among Republicans, Democrats and Independents, it is time to winnow the qualifications. …

That move was rejected by Kris Kobach under the authority he is granted as Secretary of State. Kobach, a Republican candidate himself for governor, did, however, allow out-of-state entrants when that question was posed — a decision Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt challenged in a lawsuit filed April 10. …

The latest non-resident to declare his candidacy, Republican Andy Maskin, of New York, acknowledged the futility of his bid, noting “I will probably lose by a tremendous margin.″ …

The Republican field includes Kobach, Gov. Jeff Colyer and Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer among those who agreed to terms the Kansas GOP set forth for a series of public forums. One of the Republicans running for governor who did not agree to the restrictive format was Jim Barnett, a Topeka physician and former legislator, who has been critical of KanCare, the troubled state program that administrates Medicaid.

The latest announcement by an out-of-state candidate to actually submit the filing fee for the governor’s race prompted Barnett to question why the Kansas process is structured so it can “make a mockery of an office as important as governor.″

He is right, especially since Maskin admits he will likely get trounced and admits, “the fact that I don’t live in Kansas is not a non-issue. …”

The best answer on a gubernatorial ballot is always going to be someone with Kansas ties who knows the issues the state faces and, moreover, knows the people and the culture. It is time to make state residency a requirement for candidates who file for the gubernatorial race.

— GateHouse Kansas