Former Kan. Gov. Jeff Colyer staying out of 2020 Senate race

FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018, file photo, Gov. Jeff Colyer waves after being sworn in as the 47th governor of Kansas during a ceremony at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)
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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (WIBW) -- Former Governor Jeff Colyer says that he is staying out of the 2020 U.S. Senate race.

“I appreciate all the encouragement I have received since Senator Roberts announced that he wouldn’t be seeking re-election in 2020. Right now I am doing some interesting things in private sector and in medicine,”” Dr. Colyer said.

Dr. Colyer said that he is focusing on his medical work. He is an on-call surgeon and has open projects in the private sector.

“I am committed to service, as I have been my entire life. I will continue to serve in the future and I remain dedicated to the betterment of the state of Kansas.” Dr. Colyer said.

U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS) described Colyer as "a great Kansan, humanitarian and friend," adding that he looked forward to the former governor's "continued voice of leadership and common sense."

Colyer, who served two terms as then-Gov. Sam Brownback's lieutenant governor, succeeded him in January 2018 after Brownback accepted an ambassadorship in the Trump Administration. He then lost to Kris Kobach, who was serving as Secretary of State at the time, in the GOP primary for the 2018 campaign.

Kansas State Senate President Susan Wagle (R-Wichita), who has already announced her intention to seek Roberts' seat, quickly issued a statement complementing Colyer, noting they had served together in the Kansas legislature as well as during Colyer's time in the executive branch.

"During his years of service, Governor Colyer was always committed to advancing Kansas and making life better for hardworking Kansas families," Wagle said. "His statement today shows that his commitment to putting Kansas first has not wavered. I wish him, his wife Ruth, and their entire family the best."