Northeast Kansas conservative Sen. Fitzgerald to retire

Capitol Bureau
Senator Steve Fitzgerald_358936

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – A Kansas state senator who gained attention for comparing Planned Parenthood to a Nazi concentration camp plans to announce his retirement from the Legislature within a few days, he confirmed to the Kansas City Star .

But his announcement was pre-empted by the man who defeated him in the August GOP primary in the 2nd Congressional District. Sen. Steve Fitzgerald, a Leavenworth Republican, said he was preparing to resign when he heard that Steve Watkins had sent a press release congratulating him on his retirement.

Fitzgerald, a senator since 2013, belongs to the conservative wing of the party that resisted the repeal of former Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax cuts and expanding Medicaid.

Fitzgerald said he didn’t know how Watkins knew his plans. Watkins didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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