Archive for Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Local attorney takes name out of running for U.S. attorney post

October 21, 2009

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Lawrence attorney and longtime Democratic Party worker Dan Watkins has taken his name out of consideration for an appointment by President Barack Obama to U.S. attorney.

“I think it fits best for me to keep doing what I’m doing,” Watkins said Wednesday.

Earlier this month, The Associated Press reported that Watkins, who served last year as Obama’s senior campaign adviser in Kansas, confirmed that he was recommended for the job but that Obama had not yet made a nomination.

But Watkins said Wednesday that the more he considered the job and his current situation, the more it made sense for him to stay put. “I like what I’m doing,” he said.

Watkins is a real estate attorney who also works as a court-appointed receiver for financially troubled companies.

Lawrence attorney Paul Davis, who is the top Democrat in the Kansas House, said the news was surprising because Watkins was really the only name that had surfaced for the job.

“I think Dan would have been an outstanding U.S. attorney, and I’m sorry that he won’t be serving in that capacity,” he said.

Davis said Watkins’ success with his law practice likely factored into his decision.

During the past several years, Watkins also has been a registered lobbyist for gambling interests at the Statehouse.

The U.S. attorney’s office has been headed by a series of temporary replacements since Eric Melgren resigned to take a federal judgeship in the final days of President George W. Bush’s presidency.

Lanny Welch is serving as interim U.S. attorney until the Senate confirms an appointee from Obama.

Because possible candidates who were interested in the job had initially deferred to Watkins, they will likely revisit whether they want to be considered, Davis said.

— Reporter George Diepenbrock contributed information to this story.

Comments

WHY 5 years, 8 months ago

Sure, he just changed his mind. Or maybe someone didn't want him anymore because of something they found in the vetting process. LJW, do you want to do a real story???

haggisgirl 5 years, 8 months ago

You obviously don't know Dan or his family. I think it would take a great deal of maturity and personal insight to change your mind before rather than after an appointment. But then again, some people just have to think the worst about others.

Pat Long 5 years, 8 months ago

Haggis, bless you. Anyone who knows Dan and the family will respect his choice.

james bush 5 years, 8 months ago

One term pony would be good..............but Obama will survive the Pelosi and Reid debacle. Gawd forbid that then he'll have ACORN people to replace them...........!

Nonsense 5 years, 8 months ago

I hear we are looking for a new DA....

CheneyHawk 5 years, 8 months ago

Politics aside, KU Alum and current interim US Attorney Lanny Welch should have the job.

KC_KUfan 5 years, 8 months ago

Dan has more integrity in his little finger than most people accrue in their lifetimes. I wish there were more like him in politics. The country would be better off if there were.

Best wishes to Dan and his family.

think_about_it 5 years, 8 months ago

He just doesn't have the money in the bank to get his back taxes paid before the nomination.

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