Recent stories about Sebelius
- GOP issues response
- Associated Press story: Former GOP chairman picked as Sebelius' running mate
- Sebelius may tap 2nd GOP convert (3-31-06)
- Sebelius coy about choice for lieutenant governor (3-30-06)
- Sebelius kicks off campaign (3-27-06)
- 6News video: Empty spot on governor's ticket raises questions (05-24-06)
Overland Park Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, today picked former Kansas Republican Party Chairman Mark Parkinson to be her lieutenant governor running mate.
The selection capped a stunning development in Kansas politics.
Republican Party officials expressed dismay at Parkinson's switch to the Democratic Party.
But Sebelius and Parkinson met the criticism head on.
Parkinson called Sebelius a new kind of leader who ignores party labels for the public good.
"She showed us a new way to lead," Parkinson said.
Sebelius praised Parkinson, of Olathe, as independent and having a strong character.
Sebelius made the announcement at a campaign event at the Kansas University Edwards campus.
Parkinson was accompanied by his wife, Stacy and their three children, Alex, 17, Sam, 14, and Kit, 11.
Parkinson is a former state legislator who served as state GOP chairman from 1999 to 2003.
Sebelius and Parkinson planned to visit Pittsburg, Wichita, Topeka, Dodge City, Hays and Salina during a tour of the state before officially filing to run on Thursday.