Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): Gossip, Innuendo and Health Insurance

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Gossip, Innuendo and Health Insurance

So here's the latest bit of information being circulated:

John Toplikar may run for Kansas Insurance Commissioner.

Toplikar currently sits on the Johnson County Board of Commissioners. He served in the Kansas House for a number of years. He's is probably most widely-known for a sign-stealing incident. (He may have been set up. I've written about it before here.)

If he throws his hat into the ring, Toplikar faces a crowded field in the Republican primary. There are at least three (Google tells me there are four) other candidates, of which I know virtually nothing. Toplikar's biggest advantage may be that he resides in one of the population centers of the state. He has name recognition in Johnson County.

1. Beverly Gossage. She is also from Johnson County, I think, and is an insurance agent, I think.

2. Ken Selzer. I don't know anything about him. According to his Facebook page, he went to University of Southern California. (This is the kind of thing -- being from California -- that is a strike against him. That's probably not fair, but if he actually grew up in southern California, I don't know how he could escape without some of their wonky values.)

3. David Powell. He's run for insurance commissioner before. I think his bumper stickers and signs were yellow.

4. Rep. Clark Shultz. I think he's from McPherson-ish area. 

It's important to note that before this insurance commissioner free-for-all, the GOP insiders fully expected Aaron Jack to file and win the statewide office. Jack was the Kansas Securities Commissioner. He was caught with his pants down, err, caught sending letters, err, caught doing stuff that doesn't make a lick of sense, and summarily fired from his job at KS securities. That pile of mental-instability probably flamed his chances at a future in politics, although I say that knowing that Eliot Spitzer and Carlos Danger attempted to re-enter public life, so who knows.

The current insurance commissioner is Sandy Praeger. She's a "Republican," but you can't tell by talking to her. She's Kathleen Sebelius' BFF. She thinks ObamaCare is awesome. She can't be ushered out the door fast enough. She's is the closest thing to a Democrat in statewide office in Kansas. Democrats have yet to field a candidate to replace her.

Most Kansans have absolutely NO idea what the insurance commissioner does. You can count me among that number. I think she goes around and talks to people about insurance. She probably has other responsibilities. 

Long story short: The race for Kansas Insurance Commissioner is wide, wide open. It's anyone's game. 




  1. It is my understanding that Selzer is the establishment pick. Gossage has been traveling the state for the past year letting people know about her candidacy and talking to them about the Affordable Care Act. Powell also works in the insurance industry.

    Given that the federal government has ceased virtual control over all health insurance related matters, I am not sure what the role of the state commissioner would be other than to push for or against implementing a state exchange.

    1. ...federal government has seized virtual control...

  2. Ken Selzer is a Kansan. Ken Selzer has been an executive in the Insurance business for over 30 years and he is also a CPA. He knows about every single line of insurance, with that experience, his executrive and financial background, he will make an outstanding Insurance Commissioner. His background will also allow him to bring insurance companies to do business in Kansas. He believes in small government, the right to bare arms, and the santity of life.