OVERLAND PARK, Kansas — A Kansas City-area businessman launched his campaign for Kansas insurance commissioner Monday, with the state's previous first lady serving as honorary chairwoman.
Dennis Anderson of Overland Park is the first announced Democratic candidate in this year's race to replace three-term Republican incumbent Sandy Praeger, who's not running for another four years in office. Anderson formed a campaign committee and began raising money in October.
Anderson and his extended family operate A.D. Banker & Company, which provides education services to insurance companies, agencies, banks, investment brokers and financial services across the nation.
"Consumers are entitled to protection in their insurance purchases; insurance companies and producers deserve fair and reasoned oversight," Anderson said in a statement.
Stacy Parkinson, wife of former Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson, is honorary chairwoman of the campaign.
Anderson promised that his campaign would be well-financed, often a problem for Democratic candidates running for statewide offices other than governor.
His campaign reported earlier this year that it had raised $32,325 in cash contributions by the end of 2013. Anderson loaned his campaign $18,250 in cash and another $11,750 in consulting services.
Four candidates are seeking the Republican nomination in the state's Aug. 5 primary. They are Beverly Gossage, of Eudora, director of a health insurance consulting company; David Powell, an El Dorado insurance agent; Ken Selzer, of Leawood, an accountant and a managing director of a global reinsurance firm, and state Sen. Clark Shultz, of McPherson, a former Kansas House Insurance Committee chairman.
Selzer was the fundraising leader last year, reporting $135,009 in cash contributions, plus personal loans of $33,100 to his campaign. Gossage raised $77,358 in cash contributions and loaned her campaign $25,000. Shultz raised $74,775 in cash contributions, while Powell had $7,761.