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Kansas Senate confirms Kelly’s commerce secretary despite vocal opposition

The Kansas Senate has confirmed Governor Laura Kelly’s commerce secretary despite vocal opposition from some Republicans and the state’s most influential anti-abortion group.

The vote Monday on Secretary David Toland was 23-14.  If the Republican-controlled Senate had rejected him, Toland would have been forced to step down.

Toland formerly served 11 years as executive director of the Iola-based economic development group Thrive Allen County.  He earned praise from business leaders and local chambers of commerce across the state.

The anti-abortion group Kansans for Life opposed his confirmation.  Thrive Allen County received two grants totaling less than $20,000 to promote women’s health from a fund named for the late abortion provider Dr. George Tiller.

Local politics also generated opposition and Toland served as Kelly’s unpaid campaign treasurer last year.

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