You can add Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger to the list of prominent Republicans who won't run for governor in 2006.
During an online chat Thursday afternoon on ljworld.com, Praeger told a questioner she had no plans to run against incumbent Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.
"At this time I plan to run for the office of insurance commissioner next year," wrote Praeger, who won her first four-year term to the post in 2002.
"I have no plans to run for governor. I enjoy my current office and feel that there is more that can be done, especially in the area of health insurance. I want to continue to reduce the number of uninsured in Kansas and work to find more affordable options for employers and their employees. There are no easy answers, but we are an innovative group of people in Kansas, and I know we can work together to find solutions."
In response to another questioner, Praeger also wrote she would continue to work with Sebelius on health care policy issues:
"Our governor was insurance commissioner before me, as I'm sure you know.
"She has a good understanding of the needs of Kansans and of the insurance industry in Kansas. She and I share the goal of improving access to health care by increasing the options for affordable health insurance. Health insurance is a market-driven industry. We need to work to attract companies to Kansas and work with those that are here to expand choices for Kansans. We have several options that we are exploring with the assistance of a federal grant and through the efforts of several advisory committees made up of concerned Kansans. The solutions aren't easy to arrive at, but we have some very dedicated people working together to improve options for Kansans."
For the full transcript of the chat, go to www.ljworld.com.