Elections

Trump’s likely VP pick has a connection to Kansas politics

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his family have met with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as speculation grows that he could be Trump’s pick for vice president.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his family have met with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as speculation grows that he could be Trump’s pick for vice president. Tribune

Donald Trump’s possible running mate has a connection to Gov. Sam Brownback’s closest ally.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence appears poised to be selected as the Republican nominee for vice president, according to reports from the New York Times and other news outlets.

He’s a smart choice, says David Kensinger, Brownback’s former chief of staff.

“Super guy, great pick,” Kensinger said of Pence in an e-mail. “A true Hoosier gentleman.”

Kensinger, a prominent Topeka lobbyist, worked as a consultant on Pence’s 2012 gubernatorial campaign, earning about $90,000 in fees, shortly after stepping down as Brownback’s chief of staff.

That year also proved pivotal in Kansas politics with conservative Republicans ousting nine moderate incumbents to take control of the Kansas Senate. Kensinger, who heads up the governor’s political action committee, has often gotten the credit and in some cases blame for those election results, with some saying that he targeted incumbent Republicans who had differed with the governor on policy.

Bryan Lowry: 785-296-3006, @BryanLowry3

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