TOPEKA — Salina real estate broker and former congressional candidate Tracey Robert Mann was sworn in Wednesday to become Kansas’ 50th lieutenant governor and promised to “listen, serve and lead” alongside Gov. Jeff Colyer.
Accompanied by his wife, Audrey, and their four young children, Mann took the oath of office in a ceremony at the Statehouse administered by Kansas Chief Justice Lawton Nuss.
Colyer, who became governor upon Sam Brownback’s resignation, is running for his own term and expects Mann will help win him rural votes. Mann said his experience growing up in Kansas and helping businesses find commercial real estate space readied him for the job. He lamented the number of young people who move away from Kansas for jobs.
“As lieutenant governor, I’m excited to tirelessly work with our governor to make Kansas a place that Quincy and Austin and Whitney and Elise want to continue their lives into the future,” Mann said.
Whitney, 2, climbed into a ceremonial chair at the Statehouse while her father, Mann, spoke. Mann said leadership is defined by service, echoing Colyer’s promise to serve the people of Kansas.
According to the Associated Press, Mann suggested during his failed 2010 Congressional campaign that President Barack Obama needed to show his birth certificate to prove his U.S. citizenship. He backed away from those comments, calling it a “mistake” after his announcement Tuesday.
Colyer said he was impressed Mann admitted his mistake.
A Wichita Eagle endorsement of Mann’s 2010 primary opponent, Jim Barnett, says Mann suggested the U.S. “should let God handle global warming.” Colyer said he was not aware of the remarks.