WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — KSN News sent a questionnaire to each candidate facing a challenger in the November general election. We are still waiting for Steven Johnson’s response. In the meantime, we have filled in some of the answers that he provided for our August primary questionnaire.
I grew up and continue to farm in central Kansas. I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics from Kansas State. Upon graduation, I went to work for Ameriprise financial and obtained my MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago.
While at Ameriprise, I led the team that built our investment models. I worked full time for 24 years across the United States and became Sr. Vice President for Investment Products.
I was elected to the Kansas House in 2010. There, I used my experience to lead our efforts to reform the pension, reduce debt and balance the budget.
I continue to serve on finance and investment committees with my church, the state 4-H Foundation and as a member of the Kansas Council for Economic Education board.
Campaign website/Facebook/Social Media:
If you are elected, what are the first three things that you want to accomplish?
-Seek Efficiency – within the office and across state budgets. Provide trusted numbers to legislators and others.
-Analyze Investment Selection – Getting the right risk and types of holdings and addressing Environmental/Social/Governance issues in light of what is the best return and in the best interest of Kansans.
-Improve Financial Literacy – Coordinate and expand programs through 529 (Learning Quest) Program and other initiatives available across the financial industry and our state.
What do you think is the main role of the state treasurer?
The role of the treasurer is to manage the cash flows and investments of the state. As such, the ability to maximize return on the hundreds of millions of invested assets is a responsibility that can have a very large impact on our state finances. Identifying and managing financial risks is central to investing. Where we can increase returns, those are dollars we do not have to raise in fees or taxes. Recent changes in the investment landscape challenge our fiduciary responsibility with how managers are implementing Environmental/Social/Governance (ESG) policies. Further, the changing international landscape, especially with China, demands we consider our exposure and how we take those positions.
The treasurer is the elected office that can lead and monitor these decisions to protect Kansas’ best interests. Working with peers in other states, we can shape the change needed in markets and regulations.
Why should people vote for you?
Awaiting the candidate’s response.