Northeast Kansas again dominated the House leadership elections Monday. Kansas City-area Reps. Ray Merrick and Jene Vickrey and Emporia’s Peggy Mast remain the GOP’s top leaders. Rep. Tom Burroughs, D-Kansas City, moved up to replace Lawrence’s Paul Davis as minority leader, while Rep. Louis Ruiz, D-Kansas City, became assistant minority leader. But Rep. Mario Goico, R-Wichita, was newly elected assistant majority leader. The south-central region also can count on Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, who had sought the minority leader spot, to remain an outspoken presence on the House floor and behind the scenes. And the Wichita area will continue to exert influence in other ways, especially via Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, and committee chairmanships. – Rhonda Holman
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