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State representative Phil Hermanson resigns from Kansas Legislature

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013, at 12:44 p.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, at 12:17 p.m.

State Rep. Phil Hermanson has resigned his seat in the Legislature, saying he made the decision primarily for the benefit of his new wife and three stepchildren.

Shortly after making the announcement Thursday, he refiled his voter registration for his new address, outside his current district where he has represented parts of south Wichita and Haysville.

Hermanson said he also recently landed a new job with Simon Palmer Properties, a firm that provides management for the Orpheum Theatre, the Farm Credit Building and other offices around Wichita.

Hermanson, a Republican, has been in the Legislature since 2009. After redistricting in 2012, he won a close race against then-Rep. Geraldine Flaharty, a Democrat. The two incumbents had been forced into the same district by a court-ordered redistricting plan.

Hermanson’s replacement for the year remaining on his term will be selected by 13 Republican precinct committee members in his district.

The deadline for that vote to take place falls on Thanksgiving, so the selection vote will probably be held early that week, party officials said.

No clear successor has yet emerged, said Kelly Arnold, Sedgwick County Clerk and state Republican Party chairman.

Hermanson married Rhonda Riggs in September after proposing to her on the floor of the Legislature earlier this year.

Hermanson said he and his wife had dated very briefly about 27 years ago and got back together after she replied to a Facebook post he put up during Wichita State University’s run to the Final Four in the NCAA basketball tournament.

“God bless Facebook,” Hermanson said.

The marriage brought Hermanson three stepchildren, ages 13, 21 and 22.

Hermanson said he intends to seek public office again at some point in the future.

Reach Dion Lefler at 316-268-6527 or dlefler@wichitaeagle.com.

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