"Integrity" was the word of the day Friday when Gov. Kathleen Sebelius announced the appointment of Douglas County District Judge Stephen Six to serve as Kansas attorney general.
The goal of Six's appointment was to restore confidence in the attorney general's office, which had been rocked by current Attorney General Paul Morrison's acknowledged extramarital affair and subsequent resignation. Although Sebelius and other state Democrats surely hope Six will serve well and be a strong candidate for re-election in 2010, it was all about character and integrity Friday, not politics.
In a press release, Sebelius said Six "is ready to lead the people's law firm effectively, responsibly, with character and integrity."
In the press conference Six responded, "I promise to serve with integrity as an independent representative of the people of Kansas."
Lawrence residents know that when it comes to integrity, Six has a strong pedigree. Being the son of the highly respected Fred Six, a former Kansas Supreme Court justice, strongly recommended him to fill the remaining three years of Morrison's term.
The younger Six specialized in civil litigation at a Kansas City law firm before being appointed as a district court judge in January 2005. He has never been a prosecutor or run for political office, but he also has no personal or political baggage. After the embarrassing Morrison episode, a clean record looked pretty good.
Six wasn't the most high-profile candidate Sebelius could have chosen, but lowering the profile of the attorney general's office while providing solid professional leadership isn't a bad goal. We wish Six success in accomplishing that task.