Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, left, and Gov. Sam Brownback after winning re-election in 2014. The Wichita Eagle File photo
Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, left, and Gov. Sam Brownback after winning re-election in 2014. The Wichita Eagle File photo

Kirk Seminoff's Pivot Point

Community engagement editor Kirk Seminoff blogs about news and issues in Wichita and Kansas.

Pivot Point

Pivot Point: Governor who never left becomes governor again

By Kirk Seminoff

kseminoff@wichitaeagle.com

January 03, 2018 01:49 PM

Gov. Sam Brownback named an interim secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment on Wednesday, plus a new KDHE chief medical officer.

Back to governin’!

Brownback decided against leaving the governor’s office while waiting for a second nomination by President Donald Trump to be ambassador-at-large for religious freedom. That, and another confirmation process, could take months.

So it’s back to being Kansas’ chief executive. All that’s left is to get his State of the State suit pressed, warm up the teleprompter and share his vision of 2018 with Kansans — then deliver a budget proposal to back it up.

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This sure looked like it would be Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer’s job a few months ago, when Brownback was nominated. Even a few weeks ago, when the nomination was stalled, Brownback said Colyer would develop 2018 budget plans.

Unless Brownback has some indication he won’t be nominated again, staying in office remains a mistake. He should hand Colyer the job, giving him a chance to lead during a critical legislative session and a chance to show his chops for the job — since he’d like to be elected to it in 10 months.

Kirk Seminoff: 316-268-6278, @kseminoff