Governor candidate Ken Selzer said his experience as a CPA and businessman and his track record as Kansas Insurance Commissioner for the last three years will separate him from the crowd of candidates in next year’s election.
Selzer sat for a campaign interview on Nov. 13 at the Washington County News office while making stops around Washington County.
He thinks his success in the insurance department will translate to the Governor’s office.
“I brought some very basic business principals to an important state department,” said Sezler. “We reduced costs and employees by over 15 percent. We got people focused on customer service. Within six months, we were recognized by Nerd-Wallet as the second highest rated insurance department in the nation.”
Selzer said he is focused on transparency, responsiveness and customer service as Kansas Insurance Commissioner and he said those are all desperately needed in state government at this time.
“I’m a CPA and have very effectively and successfully managed the budget at the Kansas Insurance Department,” said Selzer. “We reduced costs and employees. I understand budgets. I know how to manage.”
He feels the Governor’s office could be more transparent or informative in its approach to policy. Selzer said the income tax cuts from the last couple years that were overturned this spring by the legislature were not implemented as they should have been.
“The tax cuts didn’t work in full because there were not expense cuts that went along with them,” said Selzer. “Mostly everyone was expecting expense cuts, but that did not occur. As a result, the budget was severely impacted in a negative way.”
Education funding was another hot topic addressed by Selzer. He noted that Kansas was recognized as one of the top 10 states in the nation for schools and the top three for top-quality roads.
“We have done well,” said Selzer. “We need to always lean in on costs, lean in on customer service, just like we did in the insurance department.”
For both issues (education and roads), Selzer said conservatives want more cuts and moderates say the state has cut as much as they could.
“And there are others who think we should spend more money,” said Selzer. “We need a CPA and a proven leader to sort through the budget issues in Kansas, so that more of our citizens will trust what is coming out of the Governor’s office.”
Selzer said he is prolife and that he has done things in the insurance department that were pro-life.
“I personally support that,” said Selzer. “We have a nice track record on the issue.”
Selzer said he is also pro-second amendment and is an avid hunter, having just gone hunting the day before his trip to Washington County.
But the budget and economic growth, especially in agriculture, were the main issues Selzer felt the next Governor would have to address.
“Kansans want a calm and thoughtful government who can sort through the budget issues. Led by someone who has Kansas values,” said Selzer, who said he was a fourth generation Kansan. “The bigger issue is to get Kansas to grow. We won’t grow unless the biggest industry (agriculture) grows.”
Sezler said he feels good about the race. He won in a crowded primary for the race for Kansas Insurance Commissioner – he felt people respected the fact he was a CPA and had a business background, looking to apply basic business principals to the position.
The same approach could be used for the position of Governor.
“I have a proven record and credentials, and a calm and thoughtful approach to connecting with people,” said Selzer.
[via Washington County News]