Two Republican legislators from Douglas County said Tuesday that they could earn important committee assignments based on results of House GOP leadership elections.
Reps. Tom Sloan of Lawrence and Ralph Tanner of Baldwin said they had reason to be optimistic that their preferences would be honored when House Speaker-elect Robin Jennison and Majority Leader-elect Kent Glasscock select committee chairs and vice chairs.
Both legislators supported Jennison, R-Healy, and Glasscock, R-Manhattan, in leadership races decided Monday in Topeka.
"I voted for the people who won. That's always good," said Tanner, who would like to chair the House Education Committee. "I do feel optimistic."
Sloan said he was angling for the vice chairmanship of the House Utilities Committee. He said the chairman would be Rep. Carl Holmes, R-Liberal.
"One of the reasons I'd like to be vice chairman, other than it's an area I have interest and expertise, is that Carl is the best chairperson that I have observed," Sloan said. "I can learn a great deal about how to make a committee work effectively and get the most out of committee members."
Tanner said election of Jennison and Glasscock should help unify Republicans in the House.
"The lines of (GOP) division will not be erased, but will be smudged a bit," he said.
He said the key issue in the 1999 Legislature would be development of a new multibillion-dollar highway program.
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