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Jeff Colyer Begins Hiring Staff Ahead Of Possible Move To Governor's Office

Kansas News Service/File photo

Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer is expanding his staff in anticipation of stepping into the state’s top job when Gov. Sam Brownback leaves to become the nation’s next ambassador for religious freedom.

Colyer has hired Clay Barker to serve as a special assistant. Barker is a West Point graduate who for the past six years has served as executive director of the Kansas Republican Party.

Colyer has also added a press secretary to his staff.

If, as expected, the U.S. Senate confirms Brownback’s nomination to the State Department post, Colyer would serve out the remainder of the governor’s second term, which extends through next year.

Related: Next In Line: Who Is Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer?

It’s also widely expected that Colyer would run to keep the top job.

If he does, he would face stiff competition in an already crowded Republican field that includes Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

Jim McLean is managing director of KMUW's Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KMUW, Kansas Public Radio and KCUR covering health, education and politics in Kansas. Follow him on Twitter @jmcleanks.