DALLAS – After losing a fiscal showdown in his own state, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is expected to join President Trump’s administration as ambassador for religious freedom.
Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, a physician and former state senator from Overland Park, is expected to take over Brownback’s office in Topeka.
Working in the U.S. State Department, the controversial Republican governor most associated with tax cuts and revenue shortfalls since 2012 will promote religious freedom throughout the world.
“Religious Freedom is the first freedom,” Brownback tweeted after the news was announced in The New York Times. “The choice of what you do with your own soul. I am honored to serve such an important cause.”
Brownback was an evangelical Protestant before he converted to Catholicism. Before he was elected as the state’s 46th governor, he was a U.S. senator who often aligned with right-wing Christian groups that strongly supported Trump’s campaign for president.
In office, Trump has issued an executive order weakening enforcement of the so-called “Johnson Amendment” limiting the use of churches and religious tax-exempt organizations in political campaigns.
"Sam Brownback will be remembered for becoming the most unpopular governor in America," Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley, of Topeka, said in a statement on Twitter. "His tax experiment failed to grow the economy as he promised. Instead, his policies have bankrupted our state."