Kansas lawmakers react to Brownback’s confirmation as U.S. ambassador

TOPEKA (CAPITOL BUREAU) — A picture of Governor Brownback hugging his staff was taken moments after he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as ambassador at-large for international religious freedom.

“Well I’m excited. It’s a position that I believe in, that I helped create. It’s a topic that I think is absolutely imperative to get right if we’re going to have security and freedom around the world,” Brownback said.

Inside the Governor’s ceremonial office, Brownback reflected on his time in office.

“We’ve done a number of different things in the state to improve the situation for people in poverty, for people in welfare reform, with water we’ve changed somethings. The pension system to get it more stable,” the Governor said.

Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer will now become the leader of the state.

“I think he’ll do an outstanding job of addressing the problems,” the Governor added.

Lawmakers leaving the capitol Wednesday night reacted to Brownback’s confirmation.

“I think it’s an excellent fit for him. I think he’ll do a great job and I’m glad that we can finally move on to the next administration and try and find our way out of this,” said State Rep. John Whitmer, R-Wichita.

Whitmer said he believes it’ll be a smooth transition in leadership.

“The budget that we have I imagine is the Colyer budget,” he said.

“I think they’ve had a long time to get ready for this transition, so I think it’ll be smooth,” added State Rep. Susan Humphries, R-Wichita.

The Kansas Democratic Party called Brownback’s confirmation “the end of one of the most disastrous governorship in Kansas history.”

Brownback says while there are some issues he didn’t tackle, he will miss the Sunflower State.

“We need to do things to grow the Kansas economy and attract people to Kansas.”

Brownback has not officially resigned. A timeline for when he will put in his resignation and when Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer will be sworn in as Governor is still unknown.

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