George Hansen of Leawood has withdrawn his name as Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s nominee for commerce secretary. He cited “extensive business dealings” between a family member and the Commerce Department.
Brownback appointed Hansen on Aug. 21. Hansen was CEO and president of the Enterprise Center of Johnson County, a nonprofit organization for entrepreneurs and venture development.
“The governor needs a full-time secretary of commerce, not one who would have to recuse himself continuously to avoid perceptions of a conflict of interest,” Hansen said in a statement. “I have always held myself to a high ethical standard in both my personal and professional life and would not want even the slightest appearance of any conflict to affect my ability to do my job.”
Brownback said he respected Hansen’s decision.
“I know him to be a man of integrity who would have served Kansas well,” Brownback said.
Pat George retired from the post at the end of July. Brownback will continue the search to replace him.