Brownback leaves budget challenges for soon-to-be Kan. Gov. Jeff Colyer

TOPEKA -- Changes are ahead for the state of Kansas. Governor Sam Brownback has been nominated to serve as US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom.

That means Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer is poised to take his place. The Hays, Kansas native is a practicing plastic surgeon.

He's worked in war zones treating trauma patients. Colyer has served as lieutenant governor since being elected with Brownback in 2010.

Before that, he spent four years in the state legislature. He knows the state is facing big challenges in the way of massive budget shortfalls, but says he's ready to get to work.

"I want Kansas to grow and to grow strongly. This is the heart of America and we have a great opportunity here as a state if we work together. I think the future can be positive, but we've got to have a lot less shouting and a lot more working together," Colyer said.

Colyer said low unemployment and fewer people on welfare are steps in the right direction. He said he hopes to work with lawmakers on actions to diversify the economy as well.