Sedgwick County Treasurer Ron Estes plans to announce today that he is filing to run for state treasurer.
Estes, a Republican elected to the county job in 2004, said the jobs are similar.
"They're both administrative, not policy-setting," he said. "My career prior to running for office was working in the business world, where I focused on cost improvements and customer service improvements."
The current treasurer is Dennis McKinney, a Democrat.
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Estes, 53, would be treasurer at a time when the state is dealing with significant budget woes. That is what interests him because he is skilled at improving services while reducing costs, he said.
As county treasurer, he collects real estate, personal property and motor vehicle taxes and issues vehicle tags. He oversees a staff of about 77 people and a budget of about $3.9 million.
He worked at Learjet "looking at ways to provide what the customer wants and reduce our costs in the process" before taking office, he said.
Sedgwick County Clerk Kelly Arnold, who is chairman of the Sedgwick County Republican Party, said Estes had done a good job "streamlining not only the tag division but the tax part as well. He's very knowledgeable on the issues and will be a great state treasurer. It will be easy for the party to get behind him."
County Commissioner Karl Peterjohn said he also would support Estes.
"He has a very smooth-running and efficient operation in the treasurer's office and sadly in the past, there have been times when that hasn't always been true," he said. "Frankly I think if he gets elected to state treasurer, we would miss him."
Born in Topeka, Estes went to high school and college in Tennessee. He has a bachelor's degree in civil engineering and a master's degree in business administration, both from Tennessee Technological University.
Estes has been active in the Republican party in Kansas and Tennessee. He is vice chairman of the state Republican party.
He and his wife, Susan, have three children.
Estes serves on the airport advisory board, on the board of trustees and as treasurer for Hunter Health Clinic and is treasurer of the Kansas County Treasurers Association.
He would be the first to file for state treasurer, which carries a four-year term. The general election is set for November. If needed, a primary will be held in August.