Government & Politics

Kansas Commerce secretary leaving Brownback administration

Antonio Soave
Antonio Soave

Kansas Commerce Secretary Antonio Soave is leaving Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration.

Brownback’s office announced the move in an email Tuesday morning. The statement from the governor’s office said that Soave, who was appointed in November 2015, plans to return to the private sector.

“It has been an honor to serve the state of Kansas in this capacity,” Soave said in a statement. “We have been able to move Kansas forward through our extensive marketing and business-to-business efforts whereby the Kansas Department of Commerce has been able to serve as an effective conduit, convener and connector of people and companies.”

Before becoming the head of the Commerce Department, Soave was an Overland Park businessman who worked as the chairman and CEO of Capistrano Global Advisory Services.

Nick Jordan, the former head of the Kansas Department of Revenue, will take over as the interim Commerce secretary, according to the statement from the governor’s office.

Soave’s departure is the second in recent weeks. Kim Borchers, Brownback’s deputy chief of staff and a close confidant, announced earlier this month that her last day in the governor’s office would be June 30.

The departures have come around the same time The Star reported that federal officials are in the process of vetting Brownback for a post in President Donald Trump’s administration.

Brownback has refused to comment on whether he will forego the rest of his term as governor to take a spot in Trump’s administration. His term as governor is set to end in January of 2019.

Hunter Woodall: 785-354-1388, @HunterMw