Democrats in Kansas Senate stick with leader

TOPEKA | Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley won re-election to his leadership job after a challenge failed to emerge Monday.

The Topeka Democrat has been minority leader since January 1997. He also is the Legislature’s longest-serving member, having been elected to the House in 1976, then to the Senate in 1992.

Sen. Chris Steineger of Kansas City did rise to challenge Hensley. But no one seconded Steineger’s self-nomination.

Democrats went into this year’s election holding 10 of the Senate’s 40 seats, and they suffered a net loss of one. That means Republicans will have a 31-9 majority when the 2009 Legislature convenes Jan. 12.