GOP lawmaker elected Kansas insurance regulator

By  | 

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Republican state Sen. Vicki Schmidt has been elected Kansas insurance commissioner.

The Topeka lawmaker defeated Democrat Nathaniel McLaughlin of Kansas City, Kansas, in Tuesday's election.

Schmidt is a pharmacist who has served in the Senate since 2005. She is chairwoman of its Public Health and Welfare Committee and has been a key player on health legislation.

She's also a GOP moderate who has supported expanding the state's Medicaid health coverage for the poor and disabled following the 2010 federal Affordable Care Act.

McLaughlin is a former regional manager for a health services company and has served as president of the state NAACP chapter. He ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2016.

Incumbent Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for governor this year.