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Salina Surgical Hospital
Fe for a cure

Post-election, doctor-turned-lieutenant governor in focus

Associated Press - December 25, 2016 5:37 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 says his job description as Kansas lieutenant governor requires him to be ready to take over as governor at any time.

Legislative leaders in both parties said they’ve had more contact with Colyer recently than in the past.

Senate President and Wichita Republican Susan Wagle told reporters earlier this month that fellow legislators believe GOP Gov. Sam Brownback is “looking for a ticket to D.C.” and a job with President-elect Donald Trump’s administration.

Brownback isn’t commenting, and there’s no indication he’s talked to Trump or the businessman’s top aides about a job.

Incoming House Majority Leader Don Hineman said legislators see Colyer’s visibility as a sign that Colyer could become governor.

The 56-year-old is a plastic surgeon who still makes time for international medical relief missions.