Kansas Secretary of State
|Kansas Secretary of State|
|Office website:||Official Link|
|2012 FY Budget:||$6,059,648|
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Kansas Constitution, Article I § 1|
|Assumed office:||January 2011|
|Next election:||November 6, 2018|
|Last election:||November 4, 2014|
|Other Kansas Executive Offices|
|Governor • Lieutenant Governor • Secretary of State • Attorney General • Treasurer • Commissioner of Education • Agriculture Secretary • Insurance Commissioner • Wildlife and Parks Secretary • Labor Secretary • Corporation Commission|
- 1 Current officeholder
- 2 Authority
- 3 Qualifications
- 4 Elections
- 5 Vacancies
- 6 Duties
- 7 Divisions
- 8 State budget
- 9 Compensation
- 10 Historical officeholders
- 11 Recent news
- 12 Contact Information
- 13 See also
- 14 External links
- 15 References
The current officeholder is Kris Kobach. Prior to serving as Kansas Secretary of State, Kobach was a law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a former Chairman of the Kansas Republican Party (2007-2009).
The Secretary of State's powers are derived from Article 1 of the Kansas Constitution.
Article 1, Section 1:
|The constitutional officers of the executive department shall be the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, and attorney general, who shall have such qualifications as are provided by law.|
There are no constitutional or statutory qualifications for this office.
As with other executive officers, the secretary of state is elected to serve for a term of four years of length, which runs concurrently with the term of the governor. The election is held in November and the statewide official takes office the following January.
- See also: Kansas secretary of state election, 2014
|Secretary of State of Kansas, 2014|
|Republican||Kris Kobach Incumbent||59.2%||508,926|
|Election Results via Kansas Secretary of State.|
Kobach (R) defeated Democrat Chris Biggs in the 2010 general election, earning 59 percent of the vote. Biggs was appointed to the position by Gov. Mark Parkinson in March 2010 following the resignation of 16-year office veteran Republican Ron Thornburgh.
|Kansas Secretary of State, General Election, 2010|
|Libertarian||Phillip Horatio Lucas||2.1%||17,336|
|Reform Party||Derek Langseth||1.7%||13,896|
|Election Results via Kansas Secretary of State|
|When the office of secretary of state or attorney general is vacant, the governor shall fill the vacancy by appointment for the remainder of the term. If the secretary of state or attorney general is disabled, the governor shall name a person to assume the powers and duties of the office until the disability is removed.|
The secretary of state is the chief elections officer of the state, administering elections and voter registration throughout the state. The office also files campaign finance reports and registers lobbyists. The duty of regulating lobbying and campaign finance is shared with the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission.
The secretary operates the business filing center, which registers business entities, trademarks, trade names, and liens made pursuant to the uniform commercial code.
The secretary regulates a wide variety of businesses, including sports agents, trade unions, cemeteries, and funeral homes.
The secretary's publications section is responsible for publishing various legal and informational documents for the state. This includes statutory and administrative law publications such as session laws, regulations, and the state's gazette, the Kansas Register.
The secretary also operates "Safe at Home," the state's address confidentiality program and conducts census adjustments.
Dems seek to limit office's power
In December 2012, Democratic leaders said they planned to introduce two measures during the 2013 session to limit Kris Kobach's power as Secretary of State. The first bill, which Sen. Anthony Hensley (D) planned to introduce, would have restricted statewide elected officials to spend no more than 10 paid hours a week on non-official duties. This was mainly seen as a response to Kobach's work on immigration, which often took him out of the state.
The second bill would have made county commissioners in the four largest counties hire election commissioners, preventing Kobach from appointing the positions. Currently elected county clerks oversee elections in 101 of the 105 counties, with the secretary of state appointing the other four.
Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for information that describes the divisions (if any exist) of a state executive office. That information for the Kansas Secretary of State has not yet been added. After extensive research we were unable to identify any relevant information on state official websites. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.
- See also: Kansas state budget and finances
The Secretary of State's budget for fiscal year 2012 was $$6,059,648.
- See also: Compensation of state executive officers
The salary of the secretary of state, along with other Kansas elected executives, is determined by the Kansas State Legislature. Article I, Section 13 maintains state executive salaries as legally fixed and may not be reduced during the current term, unless such a reduction applies to all salaried state officers. However, under Article XV, Section 7 the legislature may reduce the salary of an elected officer for gross neglect of duty.
|Compensation of officers. The officers mentioned in this article shall at stated times receive for their services a such compensation as is established by law, which shall not be diminished during their terms of office, unless by general law applicable to all salaried officers of the state. Any person exercising the powers and duties of an office mentioned in this article shall receive the compensation established by law for that office.|
|Salaries reduced for neglect of duty. The legislature may reduce the salaries of officers, who shall neglect the performance of any legal duty.|
In 2011, the Secretary of State earned a salary of $86,003.
There have been 5 Kansas Territory Secretaries and 31 Kansas Secretaries of State since 1854. Of the 36 officeholders, 27 were Republican, 7 were Democrat and 2 were Populists.
|List of Former Officeholders from 1854-Present|
|2||Frederick P. Stanton||1857||Democratic|
|3||James W. Denver||1857-1858||Democratic|
|4||Hugh Sleight Walsh||1858-1860||Democratic|
|5||George M. Beebe||1860-1861||Democratic|
|6||John Winter Robinson||1861-1862||Republican|
|7||Sanders Rufus Shepherd||1862-1863||Republican|
|8||Warren W.H. Lawrence||1863-1865||Republican|
|9||Rinaldo Allen Barker||1865-1869||Republican|
|11||William Hillary Smallwood||1871-1875||Republican|
|12||Thomas Horne Cavanaugh||1875-1879||Republican|
|14||Edwin Bird Allen||1885-1889||Republican|
|16||Russell Scott Osborn||1893-1895||Populist|
|17||William Corydon Edwards||1895-1897||Republican|
|18||William Eben Bush||1897-1899||Populist|
|19||George Alfred Clark||1899-1903||Republican|
|20||Joel Randall Burrow||1903-1907||Republican|
|21||Charles Eugene Denton||1907-1911||Republican|
|22||Charles Harrison Sessions||1911-1915||Republican|
|23||John Thomas Botkin||1915-1919||Republican|
|24||Lewis Julian Pettijohn||1919-1922||Republican|
|25||David Owen McCray||1922-1923||Republican|
|26||Frank Joseph Ryan||1923-1929||Republican|
|27||Edgbert Albert Cornell||1929-1933||Republican|
|28||Frank Joseph Ryan||1933-1949||Republican|
|30||Paul R. Shanahan||1951-1966||Republican|
|31||Elwill M. Shanahan||1966-1978||Republican|
|33||William Preston Graves||1987-1995||Republican|
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Kansas Secretary of State
Memorial Hall, 1st Floor
120 SW 10th Avenue
Topeka, KS 66612-1594
Phone: (785) 296-4564
- Main website for the Kansas Secretary of State
- Elections website
- Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission
- Wikipedia, Kansas Secretary of State
Portions of this article were adapted from Wikipedia.
- Project Vote Smart - Kris Kobach biography
- Kansas Secretary of State, "Kansas Election Standards (Chapter IV: Candidates, p. IV-11)," accessed January 27, 2012
- Kansas Secretary of State - 2010 General Election Results
- The Republic, "Kansas legislative Democrats to introduce measures targeting GOP Sec. of State Kobach," December 4, 2012
- The Governor's State of Kansas Budget Report, "Volume 2 Fiscal Year 2014," 127," accessed June27, 2013
- Kansas Constitution, "Article I Executive; Compensation of Officers," accessed February 18, 2015
- Kansas Constitution, “Article XV Miscellaneous; Salaries reduced for neglect of duty,” accessed February 18,2015
- Council of State Governments, "SELECTED STATE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS: ANNUAL SALARIES," accessed November 14, 2014
- The Council of State Governments, "Book of the States 2013, Table 4.11," accessed February 2, 2014
- The Council of State Governments, "Book of States 2011- Table 4.11," accessed February 2, 2012 (dead link)
- Kansas Historical Society, "Kansas Secretaries of State," accessed July 29, 2013