OLATHE, Kan. — Kansas Republican Secretary of State challenger Mike Brown is caught up in a controversy surrounding one of his past Facebook posts.
In that post, he blames current Republican Secretary of State Scott Schwab for accepting $2.3 million in grant money linked to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The money was from the Center for Tech and Civic Life. It’s now sometimes referred to as “Zuckerbucks.”
“Scott Schwab had an obligation to ‘know or should have known’ who was behind this before opening the floodgates to Zuck-Bucks,” Brown wrote on his Facebook page March 27.
“The moneys were slipped in under the innocuous name ‘Center for Tech and Civic Life’ (CTCL)… but that was a cover for who it really was behind the scenes. Schwab failed in his duty as the Chief Elections Official for the state of Kansas – AGAIN – and Kansas Elections were compromised by ‘Asleep-At-The Wheel Schwab.'”
The incumbent Schwab said he never accepted the money at the state level, calling it a “conflict-of-interest” Monday.
One person who did accept the money on Johnson County’s behalf in October 2020 for the November election that year was former County Commissioner Mike Brown.
“I voted on what I knew,” Brown said in an interview with FOX4 Monday. “I was told, and I specifically asked, ‘What are the hooks in this money, in this $850,000?’ And I was told there weren’t any. I voted on what I knew. If I knew then what I know now, of course I would have changed my vote.”
The Republican secretary of state primary is pitting Brown against Schwab.
On Monday, Brown was at the Election Integrity Forum at the Olathe Conference Center. A spokeswoman for Schwab said he was not invited to Monday’s forum, and he “had another commitment for today.”
A Schwab supporter drove around the conference center Monday with a sign saying “MikelovesZuckerbucks.com.”
“He certified the 2020 election and now he says it was well done, and now he’s also saying, ‘Well if I knew what I knew now.’ Well you don’t get to have 20/20 vision going backwards. You gotta have it right at the time,” Schwab said in an interview with FOX4 Monday.
The difference between the candidates seems to be whether the candidates think there were voter irregularities in the 2020 election. Brown said there were while Schwab said there were not.
The winner of the Aug. 2 primary is set to face Democrat Jeanna Repass for the Kansas secretary of state position in the November election. Repass is running unopposed in the Democratic primary.