The 2018 election season was anticipated to be a quiet one for the Kansas Senate. Only Sen. Richard Hilderbrand (R-Galena) faced a general election since he was appointed to finish out the term formerly held by now Kansas State Treasure Jake LaTurner (R-Pittsburg). The remaining 39 Senators had two more years before facing reelection.
However, the quiet season got a lot more complicated when three Kansas Senators won general election races for statewide office. Sen. Laura Kelly (D-Topeka) will take over the Governor’s office with her running mate Sen. Lynn Rogers (D-Wichita) when the new session starts. Sen. Vicki Schmidt will take the helm at the Kansas Insurance Commissioner’s Office next January as well. The Senate also replaced Sen. Steve Fitzgerald (R-Leavenworth) who announced his retirement after unsuccessfully campaigning for the 2nd District Congressional Seat.
All four of these Senators have now been officially replaced. Gov.-Elect Laura Kelly’s seat will be occupied by Rep. Vic Miller (D-Topeka). See; https://www.ksnt.com/news/local-news/vic-miller-to-replace-governor-elect-kelly-in-kansas-senate/1628223909
LT. Gov.-Elect Rogers was succeeded by Mary Ware. See; https://www.kwch.com/content/news/Democrats-pick-Mary-Ware-to-replace-Lt-Gov-elect-Lynn-Rogers-in-Senate-501713701.html
Sen. Vicki Schmidt will be replaced by Eric Rucker who currently works in the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office. See; https://www.wibw.com/content/news/Kobachs-top-deputy-Eric-Rucker-to-fill-Schmidts-senate-seat-502832582.html
These nominations will go to Gov. Colyer for the official appointment.
Earlier this fall Sen. Steve Fitzgerald (R-Leavenworth) was replaced by Kevin Braun (R- Kansas City). See; https://www.leavenworthtimes.com/news/20181019/braun-selected-for-appointment-to-senate.
The changes above will also affect leadership positions in the Kansas Senate as Laura Kelly was the Senate Assistant Minority Leader and Vick Schmidt was the Senate Assistant Majority Leader. Both positions will need to be filled.
Finally, of particular note, Sen. Barbara Bollier has officially changed her party designation from republican to democrat. This brings the Senate composition to 31-9 Republican advantage. See; https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/kansas-lawmaker-switches-parties-over-gop-s-absurd-lgbtq-platform-n947746