Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): Succession: What Happens if Brownback AND Colyer go Trump?

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Succession: What Happens if Brownback AND Colyer go Trump?

It's a long shot, but it may not be as long of a shot as people think. President-elect Donald Trump needs to hire/appoint 4,000 people between now and about January 20/ Obviously, Trump, who has several advisers like Alan Cobb and Michael Torry with ties to the Sunflower state, has been eyeballing a lot of that talent in the Great Plains. While the names of Gov. Brownback, Secretary of State Kris Kobach, and Congressman Tim Huelskamp are widely considered potential candidates for the Trump administration, there's a rumor that Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer is a dark horse who may be galloping towards Washington.

It's not much of a secret that Colyer's ultimate ambitions are pointed in the direction of D.C. and sticking around Kansas for the 2017 legislative session doesn't sound pleasant to anyone--not even the so-called Republican mods and Dems who recently got their tickets punched to Topeka. It's not going to be a fun session, and it's probably going to be downright horrid for the lame duck Governor Brownback and members of his administration. 

Rumors suggest that Colyer may be seeking a ticket on the eastbound Trump train if at all possible. As a doctor and politician, he's uniquely qualified to serve in a healthcare role in the Trump adminstration. So what happens if both Brownback and Colyer board that Washington-bound train? It kind of depends on the order in which they depart.

If Colyer resigns or is confirmed for a slot before Brownback is, then Brownback will appoint a Lt. Governor to replace Colyer. If Brownback leaves before Colyer, Colyer will become Governor and appoint a Lt. Governor--and then hop on the train making the just appointed Lt. Governor the Governor, who will appoint a new Lt. Governor.

In the completely unlikely event that both offices are vacant at the same time, the next in line for succession is the Senate President. At this point, the Senate President is Susan Wagle. Wagle will have to stand for re-election for the spot on December 5. It looks likely that she'll recapture that role, but she does face competition from Sen. Ty Masterson. 

Meanwhile, Wagle is apparently still considering taking a run at the seat that Congressman Mike Pompeo will vacate when he's confirmed as the head of the CIA. Find how Pompeo's replacement will be selected here.

In the not just unlikely but nearly impossible column, if the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Senate President roles are all vacant at once, the next in line to become Governor is the Kansas Speaker of the House. Right now, that's Ray Merrick. The House will vote between Reps. Russ Jennings, Ron Ryckman, and Jene Vickrey to be the next speaker on December 5. 

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