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Ex-Kan. labor chief to be wind group spokeswoman

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) -- Former Kansas Labor Secretary Karin Brownlee has been named by a group of business and civic leaders as the spokeswoman for its efforts to promote wind energy.

Kansans for Wind Energy says Brownlee will travel across the state to meet with grassroots supporters.

The group's director, Richard Martin, praised Brownlee as a conservative with a reputation for bridge-building.

Brownlee served in Gov. Sam Brownback's Cabinet in 2011 and 2012, and the administration touted her efforts to streamline the Department of Labor.

But she left shortly after that, saying she was forced out in a disagreement over how to measure the agency's performance.

Brownlee, an Olathe (oh-LAY'-thuh) Republican, served in the state Senate from 1997 through 2010. She was chairing the Senate Commerce Committee when she joined Brownback's administration.