Insurance commissioner candidate Ken Selzer announced Thursday that former state budget director Steve Anderson has endorsed his campaign and agreed to join his steering committee.
Anderson, an accountant, recently resigned from his position in Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration and is joining the Kansas Policy Institute on a part-time basis.
Anderson is the highest-profile political name so far on Selzer’s endorsement list, which also includes Dodge City Mayor Kent Smoll and Miami County Commissioner Jim Wise.
Selzer, a certified public accountant in Leawood, is seeking the Republican nomination for the insurance commissioner post, which will be an open office in next year’s election after the retirement of Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger.
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Three other Republicans have announced they intend to seek the position: House Insurance Committee Chairman Clark Shulz, R-McPherson; Beverly Gossage, owner of a Lawrence-based benefit consulting company specializing in health savings account programs for businesses; and David Powell, an El Dorado insurance agent who ran for insurance commissioner in 2002 and 2010.
Gossage especially has been active in collecting endorsements in the race. Her list includes former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Washington Times columnist and Tea Party activist Milton Wolfe and Kansas Rifle Association President Patricia Stoneking along with several current and former state legislators.
No Democrats have yet announced for the position, which was the political springboard for Democrat Kathleen Sebelius to rise to the governor’s office.