Republican elected top Kansas insurance regulator

In a Tuesday, July 22, 2014, photo Ken Selzer, right, a Republican candidate for Kansas insurance commissioner, speaks with Steve Hitchcock, governmental affairs director for the Kansas Agricultural Aviation Association, after speaking at a candidate forum in Ottawa, Kan. Selzer is an accountant and insurance industry executive. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) – A Republican accountant and industry executive has won the Kansas insurance commissioner’s race without the backing of the retiring, three-term GOP incumbent.

Ken Selzer of Leawood defeated Democrat Dennis Anderson of Overland Park in Tuesday’s election. Anderson operates a family business providing educational services to insurance and financial services firms.

The Democrat was endorsed by retiring GOP Commissioner Sandy Praeger. But Praeger had broken with fellow Republicans by not harshly criticizing the federal health care overhaul championed by Democratic President Barack Obama.

Both Anderson and Praeger favor expanding the state’s Medicaid program for the poor and disabled in line with the federal law. Selzer opposes the idea.

The state’s GOP leanings helped Selzer, and he raised nearly $147,000 in cash contributions after last July, compared with Anderson’s $95,000.

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