Barnett picks wife for running mate

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Barnett didn't have to look to far from home to find his running mate.

On Thursday, the former state senator from Emporia turned to his wife, Rosie Hansen, as his choice for Lt. Governor. Barnett explained he wanted to tap someone who met three qualifications:

  • To help him implement his #OneKansas agenda;
  • Help his administration improve the functioning of the state government, and;
  • Someone able to bridge the rural/urban divide.

As Barnett tells it, he found people who met some of the criteria, but only a few met all three of them.

"It became clear that the one person who was best qualified in all areas was also the person who had spent the past 22 months traveling 70,000 miles with me, Rosemary Hansen, my wife,” he said.

A biography provided by the Barnett campaign says Hansen grew up in Americus, graduating from the high school there in 1972 and then from KU four years later. She served as a National Security Affairs Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Standford, before joining the U.S. Dept. of State for 26 years.

"We are partners in every sense of the word. We've been traveling the state together, and we've been listening to and meeting amazing Kansans at every step of the way," said Hanson.

“Kansans will be getting someone as Lt. Governor who has a history of public service at a high level,” Barnett added.

After the announcement of Hansen for Lt. Govenor, both made their way to the Secretary of State's office where they officially filed the paperwork to run.