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  Sebelius drops out of Cabinet consideration; cites state’s fiscal crisis
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ContributorTX DEM 
Last EditedTX DEM  Dec 07, 2008 12:18pm
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News DateSunday, December 7, 2008 06:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionAfter weeks of speculation, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius announced Saturday she doesn’t want to be considered for a Cabinet position in President-elect Barack Obama’s administration.

Sebelius said she made the decision because of the worsening budget problems facing Kansas.

“The possibility of joining President-elect Obama’s team is exciting and compelling, but my service to the citizens who elected me is my top priority in these difficult times,” she said in a three-sentence statement released to the media.

A contender

During the summer, Sebelius was a top contender for vice president in Obama’s White House bid and was one of the co-chairs of the Democratic National Convention. Seen as a Democrat who could reach out to Republicans, Sebelius had been steadily gaining stature in the Democratic Party.

Obama selected U.S. Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., in the end, but Sebelius continued playing an important role during the campaign as she criss-crossed the country to make speeches on Obama’s behalf.

After Obama’s victory, Sebelius was mentioned as contender for numerous Cabinet posts, such as heading education, agriculture, labor, environmental protection, health and human services, commerce and transportation.

If Sebelius had left, it would have elevated Lt. Gov. Mark Parkinson to the governor’s job, a former Kansas Republican Party chairman whom she recruited to the Democratic Party.

Sebelius’ decision also opens up speculation about her intentions for 2010. She is term-limited as governor, but Democrats would like to see her run for Senate for the seat that is expected to be vacated by U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan.
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