Governor Sam Brownback will end his career as a Kansas politician next week. Brownback said in a resignation letter that he will step down to join the Trump administration on January 31st.
Brownback is taking over as ambassador at large for international religious freedom, a position in the U.S. State Department.
He thanked Kansans in the letter for letting him serve the state.
“I have been privileged to serve and represent my fellow citizens for most of my adult life,” Brownback said. “Wherever my new duties may take me, my Kansas values and experience will always travel with me.”
Brownback was narrowly confirmed for the Trump administration position Wednesday. During a speech on the U.S. Senate floor Thursday, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell welcomed Brownback into his new role.
“As the voices of religious minorities are being suppressed around the world, I’m glad they’ll have Ambassador Brownback to speak up for them,” McConnell said.
Brownback pushed Kansas in a more conservative direction on issues like taxes, abortion and welfare policies. Recently, there’s been a rift between his office and lawmakers, who last year overrode a veto and overturned Brownback’s signature tax cuts. This month, lawmakers from both parties criticized the budget and education proposals he laid out for lawmakers.
Brownback said he gives his best wishes to Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer, who will kick off the transition with events Wednesday in his hometown of Hays. He’ll be officially sworn in as governor in Topeka later that day.