Opinion Columns & Blogs

Cox a capable choice for African-American commission job

Kenya Cox will bring a lot of applicable experience to her new job as executive director of the Kansas African American Affairs Commission, an appointment made Friday by Gov. Sam Brownback. Cox has been president of the Wichita branch of the NAACP and an active member of civic boards on policing and otherwise, also having worked for the Kansas Department for Children and Families. Capable and caring, Cox had another attribute from the perspective of the Brownback administration – which had been criticized last week by former commission members and The Eagle editorial board for letting the top job sit open for seven months while rejecting three commission-recommended candidates. Cox is a Republican who has worked for both Rep. Mike Pompeo and former Rep. Todd Tiahrt and unsuccessfully run for the Legislature. “They proved my point. (Cox) was hired because she was a Republican,” former Commissioner James Barfield of Wichita told the Kansas City Star. In any case, Cox now needs to be guided not by politics but by the commission’s mission to represent all African-American Kansans. – Rhonda Holman