November 18, 2008
Written by Mark Anderson
Kiowa County Signal
Greensburg's Dennis McKinney informed The Kiowa County Signal Tuesday morning that he's agreed to accept an appointment by Governor Kathleen Sebelius to fill the remaining two years of Lynn Jenkins' term as State Treasurer.
Jenkins, a Republican, defeated incumbent Democrat Nancy Boyda for the second district congressional seat in the November 4 general election. She will continue to hold her position as treasurer until just after the first of the year, when she will depart for Washington. McKinney expects to assume his new duties at that time.
McKinney has served in the state legislature since 1992, representing the 116th District, which covers all of Kiowa, Comanche and Barber Counties, as well as nearly all of Kingman County, the northern half of Harper County, and a small portion of eastern Ford County. McKinney, a Democrat, has also served as House Minority Leader the past six years.
Having heard rumors of his possible appointment since shortly after the election, McKinney said he'd discussed the implications of accepting the new position with his wife Jean before meeting with Sebelius in Topeka last Friday, when the Governor offered him the opportunity. He left that meeting still undecided as to whether he'd leave the familiar turf of the legislative process.
"I finally decided to take this Monday morning," McKinney said. "It was a hard decision because I have the greatest constituents in the world and I've really enjoyed my work in the legislature. But this is also a great opportunity."
McKinney said that while the legislative session of early January through mid-April is a more intense time for him as a legislator than it likely will be as treasurer; his new post "is more of a year-round requirement." Despite that, McKinney said he would continue to reside in Greensburg.
"I think we've gotten to the point where we can look at starting to set up satellite offices for state agencies," McKinney said, implying his new position could be among those shifting to more of a remote location.
As for whether he's thinking at this point he'll likely run for the State Treasurer's office when it's again on the ballot in two years, McKinney said, "It's likely I would."
The Democratic precinct committeemen and women from his legislative district will select McKinney's replacement in the Kansas House in the coming weeks. McKinney himself first entered the Kansas House in June of 1992 by the same process when his predecessor, Lee Hamm, left to assume another position. McKinney then ran successfully for the seat the following November.