Kansas state Treasurer Lynn Rogers launched Wednesday a campaign for the Democratic Party’s nomination for the job. The former lieutenant governor was appointed treasurer by Gov. Laura Kelly in January 2021 upon resignation of Republican Jake LaTurner. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)
TOPEKA — Former banker, state senator and Lt. Gov. Lynn Rogers initiated a campaign for the Democratic Party’s nomination Wednesday to retain his job as state treasurer.
Rogers, appointed treasurer in January 2021 following departure of Republican Jake LaTurner to the U.S. House, said he was seeking a full four-year term to continue work on restoring public confidence in Kansas finances.
That includes oversight of a $10 billion college savings program, work on finding owners of unclaimed property held by the state, service on the board of trustees of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, establishing special savings accounts for people with disabilities and delivery of financial guidance to legislative and executive branches of government.
“It was really a much-needed change for Kansans to have a dedicated treasurer and staff working for people of our state and not prioritizing their own political advancement,” Rogers said. “I was charged with setting it right after multiple administrations have simply used the position as treasurer as a stepping stone for higher office. We cannot go backwards. We cannot start playing games again.”
Rogers, of Wichita, is unlikely to have an opponent in the Democratic primary in August. The Republican Party primary for state treasurer features state Rep. Steven Johnson of Assaria and state Sen. Caryn Tyson of Parker.
Rogers, who grew up on a Nebraska crop and hog farm, graduated from University of Nebraska and started a career in banking. He worked for the Federal Land Bank in Wichita, and remained in banking during his 40-year career. He served more than 16 years on the Wichita school board and was elected to the Kansas Senate.
He was elected lieutenant governor in 2018 on a ticket with Gov. Laura Kelly. The governor placed him in charge of the new office of rural prosperity.
The resignation of LaTurner, who was elected in 2020 as the state’s 2nd District congressman, led Kelly to appoint Rogers to LaTurner’s unexpired term as treasurer.
Rogers said he wanted to remain state treasurer to reform a state program to focus on better solutions to the state’s affordable housing crisis. He said there should be ways of improving retirement options for Kansas families struggling to provide for themselves and their children. The treasurer’s office ought to become a hub of information on financial literacy, he said.
“There is so much work to be done, because there was so much work that was undone when I came into office,” he said. “We must remain focused on leading with integrity and removing any barriers that threaten our state’s economic growth.”
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