Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer has hired the executive director of the Kansas Republican Party to serve as his special assistant in anticipation of becoming governor in the near future.
Colyer, a Johnson County plastic surgeon, will succeed Gov. Sam Brownback if the U.S. Senate confirms Brownback’s nomination as the next ambassador at-large for international religious freedom.
The governor’s office announced Monday that Colyer has expanded his staff. Clay Barker, an attorney and West Point graduate from Johnson County, will serve as Colyer’s special assistant after spending the past six years as executive director of the Kansas Republican Party.
“Clay has been a tireless advocate for Reagan Conservativism in Kansas, and served his country with distinction in the United States Army. I’m thrilled to bring his experience and expertise to our team,” Colyer said in a statement.
Kelly Arnold, the state GOP chair, said that Barker has officially stepped down from his role with the party to take the position with Colyer. The party will take its time in selecting a new executive director ahead of the 2018 election, Arnold said.
“He has been a steady hand in our office making sure that the trains run on time,” Arnold said of Barker's six years with the party.