Government
8:29 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Democratic Senator Criticizes Kan. Regents Appointments

A Democratic state senator from Topeka says Gov. Sam Brownback is packing the Kansas Board of Regents with too many Republicans.

State law requires that no more than five of the nine regents belong to the same political party. The senator says Brownback's recent appointments violate the spirit of that law.

Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley said this week that the governor is skirting the rules because one of the new appointees changed his registration from Republican to unaffiliated in February.

Brownback says Hensley’s criticism is not accurate.

“Well, there have been a number of people who have switched parties in the state of Kansas over time. And I guess at any time you could claim that," says Brownback. "But I think these nominees are qualified. I think they meet the requirements. I think they’re going to do an excellent job as regents.”

The regent in question is Shane Bangerter, an attorney from Dodge City. At a confirmation hearing this week he said the governor’s office did not ask him to change his party affiliation.

Bangerter says he has not been active in the Republican Party for several years. Bangerter and two other appointees were confirmed this week.