Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): Bob Montgomery out

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Bob Montgomery out

And this time he really means it.

After a scandalous start last legislative session, Rep. Bob Montgomery has submitted a letter of resignation to Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

Montgomery, you'll recall, ran unopposed for election in Olathe's 15th District. In the scrambling that was re-districting, Montgomery moved from one of his residences to another to secure a seat in the 15th district. That's not really the scandalous part. He moved from one place he owned to another in the midst of the crazy that was redistricting. At the time, I believe he was also in the midst of a divorce. I don't know that for certain, but he's now divorced. So take that for what it's worth.

Anyway, he ran unopposed in the general election, quietly telling people he planned to resign from the seat so someone else could be appointed. His reasons remain murky. He was doing it for his family (wasn't yet divorced), his physical health, maybe he needed a mental health break. There was some confusion about when he could officially resign. Though he was already a legislator, he hadn't been sworn-in as a a legislator in the new district. So, following the election, Republicans in Olathe waited with baited breath for a resignation that would never come.

Montgomery announced he was leaving when the House met to elect leadership. He did so in the most bizarre speech ever -- officially it was a nomination speech for Arlen Seigfried candidacy for Speaker of the House. 

Fast forward to the start of the session. Montgomery just quit showing up, possibly with permission from party leadership. (I think it's because his hand-selected replacement wasn't going to be given the nod to replace him. Ergo, Montgomery stayed, but didn't show up, and everyone smiled and nodded and the good ol' boys club patted itself on the back.)

Montgomery's chosen replacement was former Rep. Mike Kiegerl. In order to run to replace Montgomery, Kiegerl also had to move a short distance. His residence is in a different district -- Siegfried's to be exact.

Now here's where it gets a little confusing. A few weeks into the session, Montgomery changed his mind and decided to stay, for the reasons I've mentioned above. A little later, Siegfried suffered some health problems and was granted a Gov. Brownback appointment to the Board of Tax Appeals. It's a swanky job with a pretty good paycheck for a little bit of work. (I personally believe the job was meant as a peace offering of sorts to Karin Brownlee, who you'll remember was fired by Brownback for not kissing enough ass.)

Anyway, the tax appeals appointment meant Siegfried's resignation, and the ascent of Kiegerl to Siegfried's seat. As an added bonus, Kiegerl actually lived in that district. 

And now, Montgomery has announced his retirement from the House of Representatives. Montgomery's letter reads:

"None of us are gifted with picking the time that our families will need us most. For myself, that time has come. My resignation will be effective the 31st day of December 2013, allowing for the Johnson County Republican Party to hold a special election to elect my replacement through the precinct committee men and women of District 15. I have no regrets. It has been my honor to serve with all of you. My prayers will be with you."

I am guessing that Erin Davis, a member of Olathe's Planning Commission, will seek the nomination and win. 

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