New 105th District representative sworn in

TOPEKA — Wichita restaurant owner Gene Suellentrop is officially the state representative for the 105th District.

Thursday, in a quiet ceremony in the House chamber, Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh swore in Suellentrop.

Last week, the Sedgwick County Republican Party chose Suellentrop, 57, to replace former Rep. Jason Watkins.

"Jason has done a lot for south-central Kansas for jobs and economic development, and I want to continue that," Suellentrop said. "In order to pull out of this recession, we are going to have to focus on jobs."

Watkins, whose last day as an elected official was Sunday, has been named director of government relations for the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce.

Suellentrop said running for the Legislature was not something he had thought about wanting to do, "but it was something I felt I probably needed to do in this time."

The 105th District covers parts of northwest Wichita.

Joining him at the swearing-in ceremony was Suellentrop's wife, Chris, and two of his children: daughter Sarah and son Matt.