Kansas House Speaker Draws Challenger

(AP) – A southeast Kansas lawmaker plans to challenge Ray Merrick as speaker of the Kansas House.

After the election, Rep. Virgil Peck sent letters to victorious Republican House candidates. The Tyro Republican informed them of his intention to stand for speaker when lawmakers come to Topeka on Dec. 1 to hold leadership elections.

He says lawmakers have a responsibility to choose leaders “whom we feel are best equipped to represent the core beliefs of Kansas citizens and our party’s philosophy of limited government.”

Merrick’s spokeswoman, Rachel Whitten, said, “Any legislator is welcome to run for whatever leadership office they choose.”

Peck has served in the Legislature since 2005 and currently serves as chair of the Transportation and Public Safety Budget Committee

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