Insurance Commissioner-elect Vicki Schmidt has picked a high-ranking Kansas Department of Transportation official to serve as her top deputy.

Schmidt announced Wednesday that upon taking office, she will appoint Barbara Rankin as assistant insurance commissioner.  Schmidt is scheduled to be sworn in on January 14th.

Rankin has been the Department of Transportation’s chief counsel since 2011.  Schmidt said Rankin also has more than 20 years of legal experience in the banking, insurance and securities industries and built what Schmidt called “a wealth of knowledge and experience.”

Schmidt is a Republican who was elected insurance commissioner in November after serving 14 years in the Kansas Senate, including as chairwoman of its Public Health and Welfare Committee.

Departing Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for governor last year.