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Kansas commerce chief under fire from Republican lawmakers

Governor Laura Kelly’s top economic development official might have trouble keeping his job after a committee recommended that the Kansas Senate reject his appointment.

A two-day Senate Commerce Committee confirmation hearing for Acting Commerce Secretary David Toland turned bitter and partisan.  Some Republicans questioned his credentials and criticized him over social media posts and comments during a Statehouse rally last year for Medicaid expansion.

The committee voted 6-5 against him Thursday.

Toland is from Iola and served as the unpaid treasurer for Kelly’s campaign for governor last year.  He also earned national praise in 11 years as executive director of the economic development group Thrive Allen County.

The Senate’s rules require the full chamber to vote on confirming Toland despite the committee’s vote.  Kelly is standing by him.


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