The Latest: Kansas political leaders debate Brownback legacy

TOPEKA, Kan. — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s plans to nominate Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback as ambassador at large for international religious freedom (all times local):

7:45 p.m.

The chairman of the Kansas Republican Party says Gov. Sam Brownback will be remembered as a governor who advanced conservative goals on abortion, gun rights and tax cuts.

But a top Democrat says Brownback will be thought of as an unpopular governor who engineered a failed tax-cutting experiment.

President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he plans to nominate Brownback to serve as ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom. Brownback isn’t saying when he would step down as governor.

Kansas Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka says Brownback’s legacy will be the budget problems caused by income tax cuts the governor advocated.

But state GOP Chairman Kelly Arnold says no one will know how well the tax cuts would have worked because lawmakers rolled them back this year over Brownback’s veto.


7:30 p.m.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s office isn’t saying when he plans to leave office because President Donald Trump plans to nominate him to serve as ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.

Brownback spokeswoman Melika Willoughby said the two-term Republican governor would hold a news conference on Thursday.

But Kansas Republican Party Chairman Kelly Arnold said Wednesday he would expect Brownback to resign as governor once he’s confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Arnold said that would likely be in the fall.

Brownback’s departure would elevate Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer to governor.

The White House announced Wednesday that Trump’s would nominate Brownback.


7:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump will nominate Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback to serve as ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.

If confirmed by the Senate, he’ll run the State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom.

Brownback is a former U.S. senator and representative. The White House says he worked on the issue of religious freedom while in Washington.

Officials in Kansas expect Brownback to step down when he’s confirmed, but his office would not immediately discuss future plans Wednesday evening.

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