TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Tom Sawyer, the Kansas House Democratic Leader, has announced that he will not seek reelection to his leadership position.

The following announcement was made on Tuesday, Nov. 22:

Today, I am announcing my decision to not run for Leadership for the upcoming 2023-2024 legislative sessions. Having first served as Majority Leader of the Kansas House of Representatives in 1991-1992, then Minority Leader in 1993-1998 and 2018 until January 9, 2023, it has been an honor of a lifetime to be entrusted with the responsibility to lead our caucus over the many years during my tenure.

In particular, I was happy to see that during this election cycle we were able to net gain one more house seat, growing our caucus to 40 members. This growth, which I hope to see continue in the coming years, will strengthen our position to advocate strongly for the issues that matter most to Kansans, such as tax relief, expanding Medicaid, fully funding public education including special education, and legalizing medicinal marijuana–just to name a few.

However, upon deep reflection, I believe it is time for me to step back and allow the caucus to have a new Leader who will lead us and Kansans towards achieving these important goals. The next generation of Kansans are the future of Kansas–and consequently, the future of our caucus. I look forward to working with our new Leadership in the next legislative sessions.

Tom Sawyer

Sawyer serves District 95 as a Democrat in the Kansas Legislature. He became a member of the House in 1987 and has held the position of Minority Leader since 2013. Kansas House Democrats told KSNT that Vic Miller will be running to take up the position of House Minority Leader.

Under Leader Sawyer’s leadership, the caucus has worked hand-in-hand with Governor Kelly to maximize the benefits of a Democratic governor. His service to Kansas, the Democratic Party, and our caucus are representative of a true public servant and unmatched in his contribution to each one of those entities. 

As Leader Sawyer has announced his retirement from caucus leadership, I write to you today to humbly ask for your support in my bid for leader. It would be a privilege to lead this group in pursuit of a stronger, more robust exercise of Democratic power in the Legislature. 

I’m proud of the work we did in August, and then again in November. Twice we defied expectations and held the line against continued legislative extremism. We have laid the groundwork for an immense opportunity in two years and it is my belief that I have the experience, time, and skill set to help us usher in a wave of Democrats in 2024 while pursuing a progressive, blue agenda through Governor Kelly’s next term. 

It would be my honor to have your support as we conquer the next battle, and again, defy expectations. My heartfelt thanks to all of you who have shared your time and advice these last several days. For those of you I have yet to reach, I look forward to sharing more of my vision and your vision of the challenges and work that face our caucus.

Vic Miller

This news comes as other legislators seek the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives.