It’s encouraging that several Wichitans will hold key leadership positions in the Legislature next year – which should help protect the interests of south-central Kansas. Sen. Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, retained her position as Senate president, beating back a coup attempt by Sen. Ty Masterson, R-Andover. Wagle has expressed an openness to rolling back some tax cuts and a willingness to stand up to Gov. Sam Brownback. Now she needs to deliver. Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, also has a top leadership role – House minority leader. Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau, D-Wichita, is Senate minority whip, and Rep. Brandon Whipple, D-Wichita, is the House Democratic agenda chairman. Given the size of the state budget shortfall and other challenges, these leaders have their work cut out. – Phillip Brownlee
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