The Buzz

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer steps back into the political spotlight

The 2015 Colyer holiday card
The 2015 Colyer holiday card

Kansas Lt. KGov. Jeff Colyer this week announced the first set of 18 members for a new organization, the Kansas Humanitarian Commission.

The organization is set up to promote national and international service, which has been part of Colyer’s portfolio for a quarter-century.

“The Kansans who have agreed to serve on the Commission know personally how rewarding and important humanitarian service is and why we should...encourage others to become involved,” Gov. Sam Brownback said in a statement.

Here at The Buzz, we’re noticing something significant here that goes beyond the commission itself. Colyer is aggressively moving back into the public eye following a tense period earlier this year when he was the focus of federal investigators who were looking into loans Colyer made to Brownback’s 2014 re-election campaign.

The investigation folded in June without officials filing charges.

Now Colyer, 55, is re-emerging. This week, he’s out with an e-mail blast Christmas card featuring his family. A week ago, he was speaking out on the possibility that Gitmo prisoners could be transferred to Ft. Leavenworth. He hit the media last month when he traveled to the Syrian-Jordan border with GOP presidential contender Ben Carson.

And, the governor’s office noted on Dec. 2, Colyer was selected for the Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows program, “an intensive program designed to help political leaders develop a deeply rooted vision for educational improvement,” the news release noted.

Indeed, many observers say, no one would be surprised if Colyer runs to succeed Brownback in 2018.

The GOP primary for governor that year could be jam-packed. Attorney General Derek Schmidt is widely regarded as a potential contender. So is Secretary of State Kris Kobach and 3rd District Congressman Kevin Yoder.

Colyer’s activity of late seems to be achieving the added purpose of putting him back into the gubernatorial conversation of 2018.