The American Trucking Assns. (ATA) has announced that Kansas governor William P. Graves will take over as the group's president and CEO when he completes his gubernatorial term in 2003.
Graves says he initially declined the offer to head the lobbying group because ATA officials wanted him to begin immediately and resign the governorship before the end of his term. However, Graves says he quickly accepted when they proposed a starting date of Jan. 14, 2003, the day after he is scheduled to leave office.
Graves told the Topeka Capital-Journal he is not strengthening his lame-duck status by announcing plans to leave the state more than a year before the end of his term. “There's nothing more glorious than a term-limited, eight-year governor, because they still have to get my signature on every piece of legislation,” he said. Graves added that accepting the job allows him to pursue the best interests of Kansas without concern over his political future.
William Canary, who has been the group's interim president and CEO since McCormick left July 1 to head the United States Telephone Assn., was named McCormick's permanent replacement until January 13, 2003, the last day of Graves' gubernatorial term.
Speaking after the announcement at ATA's annual conference in Nashville, Canary said, “He made it clear that he is the governor of Kansas and I am the president and CEO of ATA until January 13, 2003.”