Republicans in the Kansas House could choose a new, more conservative majority leader to complicate Democratic Gov.-elect Laura Kelly’s efforts to pass her legislative agenda.
House members and members-elect were picking leaders Monday for the next two years. Republicans and Democrats were meeting separately.
House Majority Leader Don Hineman is a GOP moderate from Dighton and wanted another two years in the job. Conservative Republican Rep. Dan Hawkins of Wichita hoped to unseat him; another challenger, Rep. Ron Highland of Wamego, dropped out.
Democrats also were considering whether to replace firebrand Rep. Jim Ward of Wichita as House minority leader. Veteran Rep. Tom Sawyer of Wichita is challenging him.
The GOP retained its 85-40 majority but conservatives gained at least six seats at moderates’ expense in this year’s elections.