TOPEKA, Kan. — Republican candidate Jim Barnett says he’ll pursue a regional approach to economic development that relies on help from local leaders if he’s elected governor next year.

Barnett had a news conference Tuesday in Topeka to outline a broad plan for creating new jobs.

The physician and former state senator said his administration would identify high-performance and high-potential industries in different regions and convene industry leaders to work on job-creation strategies.

Barnett has praised legislators for rolling back past income tax cuts championed by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback this year to help balance the state budget. Other GOP candidates are critical.

Seven other GOP candidates have either launched campaigns or are exploring the race. They include Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer.