Karin Brownlee

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Karin Brownlee
Former Kansas Secretary of Labor
In office
February 3, 2011 - September 20, 2012
Years in position 4
Assistant Majority Leader, Kansas Senate
Olathe Republican Party
Base salary$107,000
Elections and appointments
AppointedDecember 2010
Appointed byGov. Sam Brownback (R)
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Kansas State Senate
1997 - 2011
Bachelor'sKansas State University
ProfessionCo-Owner, Patrons Mortgage Company
Office website
Karin Brownlee served as Kansas Secretary of Labor from February 2011[1] until September 2012, when Governor Sam Brownback ordered her to step down for undisclosed reasons. The secretary of labor serves at the pleasure of the governor and is not subject to reappointment or term limits.[2] Brownback named former state Rep. Lana Gordon interim-secretary.

Brownlee was a Republican member of the Kansas State Senate, representing the 23rd District from 1997 to 2011. She was the Assistant Majority Leader before her appointment to the position of Secretary of Labor. She was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1996 and was the vice-chair of the Johnson County Republican Party from 1994 to 1996. She was also involved in the Kansas Republican Party State Committee from 1993 to 1996 and was chair of the Olathe Republican Party from 1992 to 1994.

Political career

Secretary of Labor (2011-2012)

Brownlee was appointed labor secretary by the governor in 2010, and took office in February of 2012. She served until September 20, 2012, when Brownback ordered her to step down for undisclosed reasons. The secretary of labor serves at the pleasure of the governor and is not subject to reappointment or term limits.[2] Brownback named Lana Gordon the interim secretary of the department same day he ousted Karin Brownlee from the position. Gordon is a former member of the Kansas House of Representatives.[2]

State Senate (1997-2011)

Committee assignments

During her last term in the Kansas State Senate, Brownlee served on the following legislative committees:[3]


Sen. Brownlee's positions on the issues, according to her website:[4]

  • Against partial and late-term abortions, the sale of fetal tissue
  • Against euthanasia
  • Against gambling
  • Supports small businesses
  • Supported concealed carry gun law
  • Supports charter schools and "home rule" legislation which would allow school districts more decision-making freedom
  • Supports simplified access to health care
  • Supports greater restrictions on internet-related crime
  • Lower property taxes
  • Supports the creation of new highways and increasing the time before teens can get their full driver's license

See also: Karin Brownlee issue positions from Project Vote Smart


Legislation sponsored or co-sponsored by Sen. Brownlee included:[5][6]

  • An act regarding property taxation and appraisal of property[7]
  • A bill regarding appropriations for a transportation project[8]

Fiscal Responsibility

On May 11, 2010 Senator Brownlee made an "official" protest when a budget bill was passed without sufficient funding[9]:

"We have failed in our fiduciary responsibility to be good stewards of the people’s money … I am disheartened for Kansas because we have slowed the economic recovery which is so desperately needed."



In December 2010, Brownlee was appointed Kansas Secretary of Labor by Gov. Sam Brownback (R). She officially started her term February 3, 2011.[10]


On November 4, 2008, Brownlee was re-elected to the 23rd District Seat in the Kansas State Senate, defeating Bill Jackson (D).[11] Brownlee raised $77,251 for her campaign, while Jackson raised $730.[12]

Kansas State Senate, District 23 General Election, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngKarin Brownlee Incumbent 66.7% 25,475
     Democratic Bill Jackson 33.3% 12,706
Total Votes 38,181

Campaign donors


In 2008 Brownlee collected $77,251 in donations.[13]

Her four largest contributors were:

Donor Amount
Kansas Republican Senatorial Committee $5,900
Kansas Bankers Association $2,000
Kanas Association of Realtors $2,000
Koch Industries $2,000

See also

External links

Suggest a link


Political offices
Preceded by
Kansas Secretary of Labor
2011-September 20, 2012
Succeeded by
Lana Gordon
Preceded by
Kansas Senate District 23
Succeeded by
Rob Olson