Archive for Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Sebelius coy about choice for lieutenant governor

May 30, 2006


— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is only a few days away from naming a running mate, but she's not dropping any hints about who will join her ticket as she seeks re-election this year.

The Democratic governor declined Monday to respond to the latest speculation among political activists that her choice for lieutenant governor is Mark Parkinson, a former Kansas Republican Party chairman.

"You'll find out soon enough," Sebelius said Monday, following a Memorial Day ceremony at the Statehouse.

Sebelius said her campaign will release a schedule today for her announcement, which will come later this week. The governor has until the June 12 candidate filing deadline to pick a running mate.

The No. 2 spot is open because Lt. Gov. John Moore announced earlier this month that he plans to retire.

Choosing Parkinson wouldn't be an odd move for Sebelius. Moore, a former Cessna Aircraft Co., executive, was a Republican and switched parties shortly before Sebelius put him on the ticket.

Parkinson wasn't available for comment and didn't immediately return a telephone message left at his Olathe home.

Sebelius is courting Parkinson's fellow moderate Republicans, something she did successfully in 2002. Also, no candidate for governor can ignore Johnson County, because it's home to more than 348,000 registered voters, or almost 21 percent of the state's 1.7 million total.

Despite having served as state GOP chairman from 1999-2003, Parkinson is helping manage Johnson County Dist. Atty. Paul Morrison's campaign for attorney general against Republican incumbent Phill Kline. Morrison himself switched parties last year.

Parkinson, 48, also served in the Kansas House in 1991-92 and in the Senate in 1993-96. In 1994, he helped shepherd a new capital punishment law through the Legislature, replacing one that had been struck down as unconstitutional more than two decades before.

Sebelius has said only that she has been looking for a running mate with a broad background. On Friday, after kicking off her re-election campaign at the Statehouse, she told reporters: "The good news is there's some deep talent out there."


bunnyhawk 11 years, 3 months ago

mmm. I wonder if a male governor would be described as 'coy.'

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