Man picked for Kansas election duties had past controversies

FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2011, file photo, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, right, confers with Assistant Secretary of State Eric Rucker during a

FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2011, file photo, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, right, confers with Assistant Secretary of State Eric Rucker during a

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The top assistant who Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has tapped to take over his duties until the Republican gubernatorial primary race with Gov. Jeff Colyer is resolved has been reprimanded in the past for his handling of abortion investigations.

Kobach on Friday picked Assistant Secretary of State Eric Rucker after the governor demanded a day earlier that Kobach stop advising election officials on the handling of uncounted ballots. Rucker also will serve in Kobach's place on the state board that certifies the final election results.

Rucker was a top aide to former Attorney General Phill Kline when both men faced criticism over investigations of abortion providers. Rucker received an informal admonition from a disciplinary panel for allowing misleading information to be given to the Kansas Supreme Court.