Gov. Mark Parkinson has named Kansas' top securities regulator as its new secretary of state.
Parkinson announced the appointment Tuesday of Securities Commissioner Chris Biggs.
Biggs will replace Republican Ron Thornburgh, who resigned Feb. 15 to become a senior vice president for Olathe-based NIC Inc., which builds and manages government websites.
The secretary of state is the state's top elections official. Biggs will be the first Democrat to hold the office since January 1951.
He's also running for the job in this year's election.
Biggs faces state Sen. Chris Steineger, of Kansas City, in the Aug. 3 Democratic primary. Three Republicans are seeking the GOP nomination.