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Careers at SRHC
election 2017

Next Kansas governor would be a surgeon, Brownback loyalist

Associated Press - July 30, 2017 8:26 am

A top Democratic lawmaker says he is joining the crowded race to replace Republican Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. House Minority Leader Jim Ward of Wichita announced his candidacy Saturday. He had named former Democratic Party chairman Lee Kinch as his campaign treasurer earlier this week.

Jeff Colyer has been a loyal lieutenant governor to GOP Gov. Sam Brownback since 2011 and is preparing to become Kansas governor after nearly a decade of helping fellow conservative Republicans shape health care policy.

Colyer is a plastic surgeon who squeezed in international medical relief missions in disaster and war zones.

Colyer would be elevated to governor once Brownback resigns to become President Donald Trump’s ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom. The White House announced Wednesday that it would nominate Brownback.

The 57-year-old Colyer already was seen as a potential Republican candidate for governor next year because Brownback was term-limited.

Colyer often was the administration’s spokesman on health issues and served in the state Legislature before first running on Brownback’s ticket in 2010.

Colyer may deviate little from Brownback’s policies.