Archive for Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Statehouse Live: Kansas politics resembles musical chairs

February 9, 2010, 8:54 a.m. Updated February 9, 2010, 8:54 a.m.


If Kansans are confused about who is running state government, they have good reason.

Of the six statewide elected officials, five were not elected to the office that they currently hold.

That includes the positions of governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and treasurer. The same will be true for secretary of state next week because of the resignation of Ron Thornburgh.

The upheaval may be unprecedented in Kansas history.

Gov. Mark Parkinson was elected lieutenant governor in 2006, running with Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. But in 2009, Sebelius joined President Barack Obama’s cabinet as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

That moved Parkinson to Cedar Crest. Parkinson then appointed his chief of staff Troy Findley as lieutenant governor.

In 2008, State Treasurer Lynn Jenkins was elected to Congress, representing the 2nd district, which includes west Lawrence. So Sebelius replaced Jenkins, a Republican, with Democratic legislator Dennis McKinney.

Sebelius also replaced Democratic Attorney General Paul Morrison, who resigned in 2007 amid a sex scandal, with Steve Six, also a Democrat.

And now Parkinson will select someone to replace Thornburgh, a Republican, who is resigning to take a job with a private company.

Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger, a Republican, is the only statewide officeholder elected to that office.


Thinking_Out_Loud 8 years, 2 months ago

True, this, although the Governor was elected Lt. Governor and is fulfilling his intended responsibilities to take over the governship should the elected governor resign.

It might be an interesting academic exercise, and certainly would provide political entertainment, for the Governor to appoint Commissioner Praeger to the office of Secretary of State.

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