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Kansas Gov. Brownback To Be Nominated Ambassador For Religious Freedom

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, seen here at a news conference last month, is being nominated by President Trump to be an ambassador for religious freedom.

President Trump is nominating Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback as an ambassador at large for religious freedom. The State Department post requires confirmation by the Senate, of which Brownback was a member from 1996 to 2011. He would be succeeded by Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer.

After the announcement Brownback tweeted, "Religious Freedom is the first freedom. The choice of what you do with your own soul. I am honored to serve such an important cause."

Jim McLean of member station KCUR reports:

"Brownback would leave office as one of the least-popular governors in the nation. That's largely due to the tax cuts he championed, which instead of igniting the Kansas economy as he promised sent state revenues plummeting, forcing lawmakers to deal with annual holes in the state budget. ...

Others hold him in higher esteem.

"'He inspires other people,' said Kathy Ostrowski, legislative director for Kansans for Life, the state's largest anti-abortion organization.

"'He's inspired some conservative leaders who had terrible bruises from the last couple of decades. He said "hang in there, stay with it. Let's keep working."'"

The New York Times notes, "Kansas lawmakers rolled back Mr. Brownback's tax policies this year, with Democrats and moderate Republicans banding together to override the governor's veto and raise taxes."

Before he was elected governor, Brownback served in Congress for 16 years.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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