Democrat files for Kansas insurance commissioner; state treasurer running for another term

A past president of the state NAACP has filed to run for Kansas insurance commissioner.

Nathaniel McLaughlin, of Kansas City, Kan., headed the statewide civil rights group from 2011 until 2015. He is a retired executive of Sodexo Healthcare Services, an international management company that contracts with hospitals to provide non-medical business and support staff. He also served as a commissioner on the Kansas City, Kan., Housing Board from 2005 to 2011.

“I want to ensure that all Kansans have access to affordable healthcare and aren’t forced to choose between paying this month’s rent and making sure a loved one will receive the medication they desperately need,” McLaughlin said in a statement released by the Kansas Democratic Party.

McLaughlin is the only Democrat so far to file for insurance commissioner. State Sen. Vicki Schmidt, of Topeka, has filed on the Republican side, and current Deputy Insurance Commissioner Clark Schultz said in an interview that he intends to file as a Republican next week. They are seeking to succeed Republican Ken Selzer, who is stepping down this year after one term to run for governor.

Only one Democrat has ever held the office of insurance commissioner since it was established in 1927. That was Kathleen Sebelius, who held the office for two terms from 1995-2003.

In another race, Republican State Treasurer Jake LaTurner filed Friday to run for a full term in that office.

LaTurner is currently the youngest statewide officeholder in Kansas at 30 years old. He is a former state senator from Pittsburg and was appointed to the office by former Gov. Sam Brownback in April 2017 after the previous treasurer, Ron Estes, won a special election for the 4th District congressional seat.

No other Republican has filed in that race. State Sen. Marci Francisco, of Lawrence, has filed on the Democratic side.


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