NU Online News Service, Feb. 26, 11:35 a.m. – Kansas Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Sebelius has formally announced plans to run for the Democratic nomination for governor of Kansas.

Sebelius, the immediate past president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo., was first elected Kansas insurance commissioner in 1994.

She describes herself as a commissioner who “protects the people first.”

“She’s been a successful advocate for Kansans refused medical treatment by their HMOs,” according to her official campaign Web site, at http://www.ksgovernor.com

“Her office runs a nationally recognized volunteer effort that provides information and counseling to help senior citizens lower their prescription drug costs — leading 6,000 older Kansans to save nearly $2 million on medicine in 2001 alone,” the site says. “And she’s stood up for business owners large and small, protecting them from unfair treatment by insurance providers.”

Sebelius recently made national headlines by rejecting plans by Anthem Inc., Indianapolis, to acquire Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, Topeka, Kan.

Before becoming insurance commissioner, Sebelius served for seven years in the state House of Representatives.