BREAKING: Warren names treasurer for attorney general race

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(Will be updated as warranted)

Republican state Sen. Kellie Warren is officially taking steps to run for Kansas attorney general, state records show.

Warren, a first-term state senator from Overland Park, filed paperwork with the secretary of state late Thursday afternoon naming a treasurer.

She named Leawood attorney James Berger as her treasurer. Berger is a certified financial planner whose practice focuses on estate planning, elder law and probate.

An official announcement of Warren’s candidacy is anticipated in the near future.

Warren, 52, has been widely mentioned as a candidate for attorney general after rising quickly from the state House to the state Senate, where she now chairs the Judiciary Committee.

Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, 55, has already announced his candidacy for the position.

And Republican state Rep. Blaine Finch of Ottawa, the third highest ranking Republican in the Kansas House, also is considering running for the position.

Finch, 41, has previously said he was focused on wrapping up work during the legislative session before making any decision about running for attorney general.

Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson, 45, who has been active at the Capitol advocating for legislation, also is considering running.

Thompson, 45, said running for attorney general is a decision he would have to make with his family.

Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay is also believed to be considering the race.

On the Democratic side, Kansas City lawyer Kristie Welder, the wife of former congressional candidate Brent Welder, also is taking a hard look at a run.

Warren has a demonstrated record of being able to raise large sums and recently served on the conference committee that crafted a new emergency management plan.

Last year, Warren raised more than $200,000 in her successful campaign against Democrat Joy Koesten for the Senate District 11 seat.

Late in the session, she unsuccessfully pushed to reopen the emergency management law, partly in an effort that would guarantee that local school boards would hold hearings from aggrieved parties challenging COVID-19 restrictions.

Warren said there are reports that school boards are hiring third parties to conduct hearings, something that also would have been prevented under her plan.

“While Secretary Kobach lost his last two races, Senator Kellie Warren has defeated two incumbents and successfully passed some of the most consequential conservative legislation this decade,” said Warren’s campaign consultant, Jared Suhn.

“This race will be about who can effectively serve in the office and deliver conservative results in the future. Kellie Warren has proven she’s the only conservative up to the task,” Suhn said in an email.

“If Republicans want a winner on policy and politics, she’s the one.”