Topeka Gov. Mark Parkinson said Friday that his new lieutenant governor, Troy Findley, was calm before President Barack Obama popularized “no drama Obama.”
Parkinson said that Findley’s even temperament, kindness and competence will make him an excellent lieutenant governor.
Surrounded by family, friends and colleagues, Findley, 44, was sworn into office Friday by Kansas Supreme Court Justice Robert Davis as Findley’s wife, Jennifer, held a Bible.
Findley is a former Lawrence legislator and chief of staff to former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and to Parkinson.
He will continue as chief of staff to Parkinson, in addition to being lieutenant governor. He will continue to receive his $100,000 per year salary as chief of staff but has declined to take the $31,313 per year lieutenant governor’s pay.
Parkinson, the former lieutenant governor, became governor when Sebelius was confirmed last month as secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
At the swearing-in ceremony at the Capitol, Findley’s parents, Virginia and Paul Findley of Lawrence, said their son always was interested in politics while growing up in Lawrence, and would study about U.S. presidents in the library.
“We called him our young adult,” Virginia said.
Parkinson said his and Findley’s decisions not to seek office in the 2010 election cycle will allow them to focus on trying to improve the Kansas economy and rise above partisan politics. Kansas, he said, “needs problem-solvers.”
Troy Findley said he was walking the other day in the halls of the Capitol when a fourth-grader with a group of visiting students asked him whether he worked there. He told her yes, and she replied, “That’s awesome.”
Findley said that made him reflect that state government work was, indeed, awesome.