By The Herald Staff

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback Thursday announced his resignation, effective 3 p.m., Jan. 31, according to a resignation letter he wrote to Kris Kobach, Secretary of State.

Brownback was confirmed by the Senate Wednesday to be the United States Ambassador at Large for Religious Freedom, a position he was nominated for by President Donald Trump in July. Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer will assume the duties of Governor.

“It has been a great honor to serve Kansans as their Governor since 2011, and prior to that as United States Senator and Congressman,” he wrote in his resignation letter to Kobach. “As a lifelong Kansan, I have been privileged to serve and represent my fellow citizens for most of my adult life. Kansas is a great place to raise a family, get a job, or start a new business, and I will always be proud to call it my home.

“I look forward to continuing in public service as the United States Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, a position for which I was nominated by the President in July and confirmed by the Senate yesterday. Wherever my new duties take me, my Kansas values and experience will always travel with me.

“In the interest of facilitating a smooth transition pursuant to Article I, Section 11 of the Constitution of the State of Kansas, I hereby resign the office of Governor of the state of Kansas effective 3 p.m., Jan. 31, 2018. I extend best wishes to Lt. Gov. Colyer as he assumes this office, and I have every confidence he will serve the state well.

“Thank you to the people of Kansas for this opportunity to serve, and may God bless our great state and nation.”