Gov.-elect Brownback announces two public safety picks

TOPEKA – Gov.-elect Sam Brownback announced his picks for the Kansas adjutant general and the superintendent of the Kansas Highway Patrol on Friday.

GarciaBrownback, a Republican, tapped retired Lt. Col. Ernie Garcia, 64, to lead the highway patrol. Garcia retired from the U.S. Marines, served as the U.S. Senate sergeant at arms and doorkeeper and was senior assistant to Wichita’s city manager from 2000 to 2003.

To lead the Kansas adjutant general’s office, Brownback selected state Rep. Lee Tafanelli, R-Ozawkie. Tafanelli, 49, is a colonel in the Kansas Army National Guard, the Kansas assistant adjutant general – Army and commander of the state’s Army National Guard. Tafanelli

“These are two of the of most qualified people I think in America to lead these positions,” said Brownback during Friday’s announcement.

Both nominees must be confirmed by the Kansas Senate when the Legislature convenes in January.