Kansas commerce chief confirmed despite vocal opposition

Capitol Bureau
Secretary David Toland

The Kansas Senate has confirmed Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s commerce secretary despite vocal opposition from some Republicans and the state’s most influential anti-abortion group.

The vote Monday on Secretary David Toland was 23-14. If the Republican-controlled Senate had rejected him, Toland would have been forced to step down.

Toland formerly served 11 years as executive director of the Iola-based economic development group Thrive Allen County. He earned praise from business leaders and local chambers of commerce across the state.

The anti-abortion group Kansans for Life opposed his confirmation. Thrive Allen County received two grants totaling less than $20,000 to promote women’s health from a fund named for the late abortion provider Dr. George Tiller.

Local politics also generated opposition and Toland served as Kelly’s unpaid campaign treasurer last year.

The following statement is from Governor Laura Kelly on the confirmation of Secretary of Commerce David Toland:

“I’m pleased the Senate voted to confirm David Toland as our Secretary of Commerce. He represents the best and brightest this state has to offer. His energy, expertise and collaborative style will ensure that businesses have the partner they deserve and that the Kansas economy continues to grow. David is a seventh generation Kansan who has given back to his hometown of Iola, as well as so many other communities across the state. Now is the time for Secretary Toland to get to work on behalf of our entire state.”

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