By John Celock
A freshman Kansas state legislator has resigned effective immediately instead of Friday.
Rep. J. Basil Dannebohm (R-Ellinwood) filed a letter with Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) Tuesday resigning effective Feb. 24. Dannebohm had told The Celock Report Monday that he was planning to resign from the Legislature this week, with the resignation timed for Friday. He told The Celock Report on Tuesday that he changed the date in order to help his district move on to selecting a successor. Dannebohm is resigning due to health reasons related to his Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease.
“This allows for the district to move forward in choosing new leadership and for me to rest and recuperate,” Dannebohm told The Celock Report Tuesday.
The single sentence letter (the letter is attached in the link at top) says that is dated Feb. 24 and says that his resignation is effective on Feb. 24. The letter has been stamped filed by the secretary of state’s office. Republican leaders in Dannebohm’s rural central Kansas district now have 21 days to select a replacement to fill the remainder of Dannebohm’s term, which runs through January 2017.
Former Rep. Marshall Christmann (R-Lyons), who preceded Dannebohm and had served as Dannebohm’s chief of staff, is among those to have indicated an interest in succeeding him. Christmann held the seat for one term and unsuccessfully sought a state Senate seat in 2014.
“It is not fair to keep them in doubt,” Danneborhm told The Celock Report about Republican leaders in his district. “This will allow things to move forward.”
Dannebohm, the first Kansas legislator to have Young Onset Parkinson’s, was unopposed in the 2014 Republican primary and general election for the seat. The third ever resident of Ellinwood to serve in the Legislature, he has worked on Parkinson’s Disease awareness while in office. He has also worked on concierge medical policy, rural issues including water policy and legalizing medicinal marijuana.
Dannebohm served on the House Commerce, Labor and Economic Development Committee, the House Vision 2020 Committee and the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.