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Merrick Re-Elected As Kansas House Speaker

Stephen Koranda
Kansas Public Radio

Kansas House Republicans have re-elected Ray Merrick to a second, two-year term as speaker. Fellow conservative Virgil Peck had challenged Merrick, but Merrick easily won in an 80-16 vote.

"I would like to think that most of them have seen me for two years and know what I've done and what we got accomplished and I think it validates that," says Merrick.

Merrick says one of his priorities this session will be finding ways to fill a budget hole. He says he'll focus on spending cuts, rather than raising revenues.

House Democrats elected a new leader to replace Paul Davis, who gave up his seat to run for governor.

Tom Burroughs, from Kansas City, Kansas, will serve as the House minority leader. He defeated Jim Ward, of Wichita, 17-11.

Stephen Koranda is the managing editor of the Kansas News Service, based at KCUR. He has nearly 20 years of experience in public media as a reporter and editor.