Former cabinet official Dennis Taylor running for secretary of state

TOPEKA — Dennis Taylor, a Republican who has held several posts in state and local government over the last 30 years, announced Tuesday that he will seek the GOP nomination for secretary of state, saying he wants to focus on improving election data security.

“Recent data breaches — Equifax, Facebook, Target, Saks — and foreign attempts to interfere with the 2016 elections demonstrate the vulnerability of our voter registrations systems to manipulation,” Taylor said in a news release.

Most recently, Taylor served as executive director of the Kansas Lottery for two years under former Gov. Sam Brownback.

He also held a number of posts in former Gov. Mike Hayden’s administration in the 1980s and early 1990s, including chief of staff; secretary of the Department of Human Resources, now called the Department of Labor; and secretary of the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, now called the Department for Children and Families.

A former Shawnee County commissioner, Taylor also served as that county’s finance director, and he has held a number of administrative posts for the city of Topeka.

He will face Reps. Keith Esau and Scott Schwab, both of Olathe, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Craig McCullah in the GOP primary.

State Sen. Marci Francisco and former tech executive Brian McClendon, both of Lawrence, are seeking the Democratic nomination.


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