TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Kansas Governor Sam Brownback announced this afternoon that he has accepted his nomination by President Donald Trump for Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom at a Thursday afternoon press conference.
Brownback would still need to be confirmed by Senate leadership, before taking over his new role.
Brownback says he was an original supporter of the International Religious Freedom Act, which was signed into law in 1998.
It is one of several reasons, Brownback says, he’s accepting President Trump’s nomination for a position in his administration.
“I am honored to assume, if confirmed by the Senate, such an important role,” said Brownback.
It is a role Brownback stressed the importance of.
He says since the International Religious Freedom Act was signed, religious freedom for all faiths has gone the wrong way, saying it has gotten worse, not better.
“It is getting less free and not more free, there is more persecution and not less, that is taking place over the last 20 years since that original bill was passed, so I look forward to implementing, helping with the implementation of that act with moving this issue forward,” said Brownback.
After 30 years of serving the people of Kansas in a variety of capacities, Brownback is putting the wheels in motion to step aside.
His departure would elevate current Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer as the next governor of Kansas.
“He’s a really, highly qualified on healthcare issues, which will be a big issue depending on what the Congress and the President does on healthcare,” said Brownback.
At the end of his press conference, Brownback touched on the legacy he leaves behind and how he hopes he is remembered by Kansans.
“I hope what they’ll end up doing is looking around saying, you know, Sam Brownback helped on that,” said Brownback.
Brownback said he hasn’t set a time to step down from governor, saying it will depend on when a confirmation on the new position happens.
Brownback has been governor of Kansas since 2011, winning re-election in 2014. He previously served as a U.S. Senator from 1996 to 2011 and a U.S. Representative from 1995 to 1996.
In 2016, a survey listed Brownback as the least popular governor in the United States.