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2015 Lawyer and Law-Trained Legislators

Posted By Joseph N. Molina III, Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Sen. Franklin T. (Terry) Bruce

Senate District No. 34, R-Nickerson


Bruce is of counsel with the law firm of Forker, Suter and Rose in Hutchinson. He was first elected to the Kansas Senate in 2004, and again in 2008 and 2012. He previously served as an assistant county attorney in Reno County. Senator Bruce is a member of the Senate Committees on Agriculture, Judiciary, Natural Resources, and Utilities and is a member of other joint committees. Bruce received his J.D. from the University of Kansas School of Law.


Sen. David Haley

Senate District No. 4, D-Kansas City


Haley is the managing partner of Village East, a redevelopment company in Kansas City, Kansas. He served in the Kansas House of Representatives from 1994-2000 and elected to the Kansas Senate in 2000. He was re-elected in 2004, 2008, and 2012. Haley is the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and the Senate Committee on Public Health and Welfare. He is also a member of other joint committees. Haley received his J.D. from Howard University.


Sen. Jeff King

House District No. 15, R-Independence


King is the owner of King Law Offices of Independence. He was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives in 2008, and re-elected in 2008 and 2010. King was appointed to fill the vacancy in the Kansas Senate when Derek Schmidt ascended to Kansas attorney general. King was re-elected to Senate District 15 in 2012. King serves as Senate vice president and chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School.

House of Representatives

Rep. John Barker

House District No. 70, R-Abilene


Barker is a farmer, retired district court judge, and U.S. Army veteran. Barker served 25 years as a judge for the 8th Judicial District covering Dickinson, Geary, Marion, and Morris counties. He has been recognized for his work with Kansas youth – championing initiatives to prevent drug and alcohol abuse, working with local school districts to reduce truancy rates, and working with juvenile offender programs. Barker and his wife of 30 years, live in Dickinson County where they raised their two children.


Rep. Steve Becker

House District No. 104, R-Buhler


Becker is a retired district court judge for Reno County. Becker was appointed in June 1981 and retired in January 2007. Prior to his appointment, Becker practiced in Hutchinson. Becker graduated from Washburn Law School in 1975.


Rep. Robert Bruchman

House District No. 20, R-Overland Park


Bruchman was elected to the Kansas House in 2010. He is a principal in his own law firm specializing in business law, including business formation, mergers and acquisition, financing and complex business planning. Bruchman is a member of the House Judiciary Committee, House Commerce Committee, and House Utilities Committee. Bruchman received his J.D. from the University of Kansas School of Law.


Rep. Erin Davis

House District No. 15, R-Olathe

Davis is a Republican member of the Kansas House of Representatives, representing District 15. She was first appointed to the chamber on January 13, 2014. Having won reelection, Davis will complete her first full term as a state representative as she sits on the House Judiciary Committee. Davis received her law degree from the University of Kansas Law School in 2013 and she currently practices family law and criminal defense.


Rep. Blaine Finch

House District No. 59, R-Ottawa


Finch is majority owner and president of Green, Finch & Covington Chtd. His practice covers a broad spectrum of legal issues including municipal law, real estate, contracts, corporate law and estate planning. He also teaches at Ottawa University as an adjunct faculty member in the fields of history, political science and pre-law. Finch is a former city commissioner and mayor of the city of Ottawa. Finch graduated summa cum laude from Ottawa University with degrees in history, political science, and psychology. Finchis a member of the Kansas Bar Association and a member and past president of the Franklin County Bar Association. He attended Washburn University School of Law and graduated cum laude.


Rep.-elect Lane Hemsley

House District No. 56, R-Topeka


Hemsley graduated from Washburn University School of Law. He began working for two private law firms in Topeka before being appointed to head the Kansas Dental Board. Hemsley and his wife, Angie, raise their two children in Topeka.


Rep.-elect Dennis "Boog” Highberger

House District No. 46, D-Lawrence


Highberger graduated from University of Kansas Law School in 1992. His areas of private practice have included wills, estates, contracts, family law, federal communications law, and general civil practice. Highberger served on the Lawrence City commission from 2003-2009 and was mayor in 2005-2006. He has been an active member of the Lawrence community, and currently serves on the Douglas County Food Policy Council, the City of Lawrence’s Public Incentives Review Committee (PIRC), and Sustainability Advisory Board (SAB), and the boards of directors of Independence Inc., the Community Mercantile Education Foundation (CMEF), and the East Lawrence Neighborhood Association (ELNA).

Rep. Mark Kahrs

House District No. 87, R-Wichita


Kahrs is a small business owner and practices law in his own law firm in the area of creditor law. His clients include small businesses, corporations, partnerships, government agencies and individuals. Kahrs is a member of the NRA and the Federalist Society. He has been active in Kansas politics for over 20 years serving in various offices within the Kansas Republican Party, including former chairman of the Sedgwick County Republican Party. Kahrs currently serves as chairman of the Fourth District Republican Committee. Rep. Kahrs received his J.D. from Washburn School of Law in 1991.


Rep. Charles Macheers

House District No. 39, R-Shawnee


Macheers has 12 years of experience in private practice and has assisted clients with a wide range of issues including estate planning, trust, probate administration, and real estate, including site acquisition, leasing, and zoning. Most recently, Macheers worked for a Fortune 100 company where he focused on complex landlord, real estate and contract negotiations. Macheers received his J.D. from Thomas M. Cooley Law School.


Rep. Craig McPherson

House District No. 8, R-Overland Park


McPherson attended Claremont McKenna College, one of the few institutions that still have an ideologically balanced faculty. Rep.-elect McPherson attended George Mason University, a school that emphasized economics, in addition to the normal law school curriculum and interned in the Justice Department. Today, he owns the McPherson Law Firm PLLC, which focuses on small business formation and business litigation. He is also a deacon at the Presbyterian Church of Stanley.


Rep.-elect Fred Patton

House District No. 50, R-Topeka


Patton graduated from the University of Kansas Law School before joining the legal research staff at the Shawnee County District Court. Currently, Patton owns and operates Patton Law Offices LLC in North Topeka with a varied practice area including banking, business/corporate, construction, estate planning, general civil, probate, and real estate. Patton is very active in the community having leadership roles in over 15 local groups.


Rep. Jan Pauls

House District No. 102, R-Hutchinson


Pauls is a sole practitioner with a law office in Hutchinson. She was first appointed to the Kansas House of Representatives in 2001 and elected in 1992 and re-elected every two years through 2010. Prior to her appointment to the Kansas Legislature, Pauls served as a district court judge in Reno County from 1984-1988 and an assistance county attorney in Reno County. She received her J.D. from the University of Kansas School of Law.


Rep. John Rubin

House District No. 18, R-Shawnee


Rubin is a former federal administrative law judge and FDIC regional counsel. He was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives in 2010 and reelected in 2012. Rubin is a member of the House Judiciary Committee. He received his J.D. from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis.


Rep. James Todd

House District No. 29, R-Overland Park


Todd was born at Shawnee and spent two years at Johnson County Community College, where he earned an associate’s degree before transferring to the University of Kansas to complete the last two years of his bachelor’s degree, graduating in 2004. Currently, Todd is a small business owner working to build his legal practice in Overland Park. He is focusing his legal practice on small business start-ups. Todd attended the University of Kansas School of Law and graduated with a Juris Doctor in 2009.


Rep. Jim Ward

House District No. 86, D-Wichita


Ward is the owner of the Law offices of James Ward of Wichita. He was appointed to the Kansas Senate to fill a vacancy in 1992. He was later elected to the Kansas House in 2002 and re-elected every two years through 2012. Ward serves as the assistant House minority leader and is a member of the House Committees on Calendar and Printing, Health and Human Services, Interstate Cooperation, Judiciary and Legislative Budget, as well as several joint committees. He received his J.D. from Washburn University School of Law.

Additional Information

The official state website for the Kansas Legislature is


From that site, you can find information on the House and Senate members and contact information, calendars, bill introductions, committee activity, minutes of committees, committee memberships, and virtually anything related to the Kansas Legislature.


2015 Kansas Legislature

- Kansas Senate: 32 Republicans/08 Democrats

- Kansas House of Representatives: 92 Republicans/33 Democrats


The 2015 Session begins on Monday, January 14.


Governor Sam Brownback

The website for Gov. Sam Brownback and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer is


Attorney General Derek Schmidt

The website for Attorney General Derek Schmidt is


Election Results

For complete election results, you can refer to the election link found on the Kansas Secretary of State’s website at

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