Prairie Politics

Wichita Republican seeks leadership position in Kansas House

Rep. Dan Hawkins is seeking a party leadership position in the Kansas House next session.

The Wichita Republican sent an e-mail to other House Republicans earlier this week indicating his desire to stand for GOP caucus chairman. The current caucus chairman, Rep. Travis Couture-Lovelady, R-Palco, is vacating his seat to become a lobbyist with the National Rifle Association.

“This next session will be filled with opportunities for our caucus to shine as a beacon of light for our state,” Hawkins wrote in an e-mail to colleagues. “The Caucus Chair will be an important position during this time as we need our caucus to remain well informed on the issues we will face during this session.”

The caucus chair helps run caucus meetings, where members pose questions and share views about bills before debates.

Hawkins, who is chairman of the House Health and Human Services Committee, wrote an opinion piece published by The Eagle last week explaining his opposition to Medicaid expansion. He mentioned that in his e-mail to colleagues and said Republicans need to do more to spread their message to the public.

“Since that time I have received several e-mails from the public stating their appreciation for the information,” Hawkins said. “Of course I have also received ridicule as would be expected. However, it is our chance as a caucus to get out in front and make our positions known in detail so the public is not getting their information just from the media.”

Bryan Lowry: 785-296-3006, @BryanLowry3