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Estes living a charmed political life

Sedgwick County Treasurer Ron Estes has the skills and experience to be a capable state treasurer. And seeing a Wichitan win a statewide office was a nice change. Still, it's hard not to look at Estes without marveling at what has been his charmed political life. He walked into the $76,000-plus county treasurer's job in 2004, running unopposed when two-term Democrat Jan Kennedy didn't seek re-election and when his wife, Susan Estes, was chairwoman of the Republican Party in the 4th Congressional District. He was unopposed again in 2008, when he won re-election. And this year's successful bid for the $82,563-a-year state treasurer's job coincided with an unprecendented Republican tide that took down three Democrats appointed to statewide offices. Estes unseated the well-respected Treasurer Dennis McKinney, whose campaign had raised nearly five times more than Estes'.