Top Democrat in Kansas Senate tests negative for coronavirus

photo by: Associated Press

Kansas Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, answers questions during an Associated Press interview, Friday, June 26, 2020, in his Statehouse office in Topeka, Kan. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA — Kansas Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley said Tuesday that he has tested negative for coronavirus.

The Topeka Democrat took the test Friday after learning that House Speaker Ron Ryckman Jr. tested positive and was hospitalized for about a week in July.

Ryckman, an Olathe Republican, attended a Statehouse meeting with other legislative leaders on July 9, the day before he learned he might have the coronavirus. Ryckman also attended a Statehouse meeting with other top lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly on July 29, after he’d left the hospital. Hensley attended both meetings.

Kelly also got tested for coronavirus and tested negative Friday. Other top lawmakers said they didn’t plan to get tested because Ryckman said he’d been cleared by a doctor to stop self-isolating before the July 29 meeting.

But Hensley said he was “genuinely concerned” that he might be infected.

Hensley said he took the test in his car outside the Kansas Department of Health and Environment lab south of Topeka.

Ryckman informed fellow House Republicans by email Thursday that he’d had coronavirus. He’s faced criticism from Kelly, Hensley and other Democrats for waiting to tell fellow lawmakers.


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