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Government

Nominee To Head Kansas Commerce Department Withdraws

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Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s nominee for commerce secretary has backed out of the job, after citing a possible conflict of interest. As Stephen Koranda reports, the withdrawal comes just a day before a hearing on his nomination was set to begin.

Leawood businessman George Hansen was chosen to head the Kansas Department of Commerce, but now says he's withdrawn his nomination because a family member has had extensive business dealings with the agency.

Hansen says that fact would have forced him to recuse himself from some functions of the job in order to avoid a conflict of interest. Hansen says the agency instead needs someone who can take on all aspects of the position.

Former Commerce Secretary Pat George retired in July. Gov. Brownback says the search continues for a replacement.