TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has named a former state House member as the top elections official in one of the state's most populous counties. The appointment of 43-year-old Andrew Howell as Shawnee County election commissioner was announced Monday. Howell replaces Elizabeth Ensley Deiter, who stepped down last week to become a magistrate judge for four northeast Kansas counties. Shawnee County is home to the city of Topeka and the state Capitol. Howell runs a small home-renovation company in the Topeka area. He served in the Kansas House from 1995 through 2004. Like Kobach, Howell is a Republican. Elections in most Kansas counties are run by elected clerks. But Kansas law requires the secretary of state to appoint election commissioners for the state's four most populous counties.