Topeka Barack Obama picked up an additional delegate Saturday in his run for president when Kansas Democrats gave Lt. Gov. Mark Parkinson a seat at the party's national convention.
Parkinson will go to Denver in late August as the state's lone unpledged "add-on" delegate, but he endorsed Obama in February. He wore an Obama button during the state party convention that awarded him the spot.
Obama captured 73 percent of the vote in Kansas caucuses in February. The Illinois senator has 27 of the state's 41 delegates, to 10 for New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. The remaining four are uncommitted.
"I have endorsed Barack Obama, and I look forward to voting for him in August," Parkinson said. "We have to make some major changes in the direction of the country, and I'm completely convinced that he is the person who can bring the country together and lead us to that change."
The state convention voted unanimously to give the delegate slot to Parkinson.
Parkinson served in both chambers of the Legislature as a Republican during the 1990s. He also was state GOP chairman for four years, leading the party as it tried unsuccessfully to prevent Democrat Kathleen Sebelius from winning her first term as governor in 2002. But he switched parties to become Sebelius' running mate as she successfully sought re-election in 2006.
As governor, Sebelius is a superdelegate to the national convention, and she has endorsed and campaigned for Obama. She also has been mentioned in as a potential running mate.