Lieutenant Governor discusses transitioning into possible new role

Published: Jul. 30, 2017 at 9:21 PM CDT
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For the first time, Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer speaks about how he will soon become a much bigger player in Kansas politics.

If the U.S. Senate confirms current Governor Sam Brownback to serve as an ambassador, Colyer will be tapped to finish Brownback's term.

KWCH sat down with him to talk about his plans and changes to come.

"This has been an important week, an amazing week for me," said Colyer. "The first thing is I know a lot of Kansans don't know me very well, so I'm trying to introduce myself across the state."

We asked Colyer if he plans on carrying Brownback's agenda over to his administration.

"Sam is a great friend, and I am my own man," said Colyer. "He is going to do great as an ambassador, but I'm my own man, so I want to let people know where I'm coming from."

Colyer said he feels Kansas can do better with education.

"The thing that I do want to do is I want to make sure we change the tone for education," said Colyer. "I want us to change how we talk about this, that we get less shouting out of Topeka."

One of the biggest controversies in Kansas politics in recent years is tax exemptions for hundreds of thousands of businesses. Lawmakers rolled those back just this session, overriding the Governor's veto. Colyer said Brownback's tax plan was not a mistake.

"The decision then was what sort of economic issues were going on then," said Colyer. "That's not the issue. The issue is where are we going now."

As a doctor, Colyer said healthcare is an important issue for him.

"We're trying to work with Washington and the administration on how can we return control to Kansas, so we can have a Kansas solution," said Colyer.

He said changing the tone in Topeka to better communication is first on his agenda.

Colyer wouldn't say if he plans to run for governor in 2018.

He said right now he is just focusing on transitioning into his new role, but he said it depends on what's happening in the state.