State legislature poised to become more conservative after election

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Results from local races in Kansas could signal the state legislature is shifting more conservative.

In 2020, Republicans held a supermajority in both the House and Senate. That means they controlled two-thirds of all the seats, and with that, they could override a veto by the governor.

Many moderate Republicans lost in the August primary to more conservative Republicans that went on to win on Tuesday night.

Democrats hoped to take the supermajority away from Republicans in Tuesday’s election to force more compromises. Republicans wanted to keep the power as a check on the governor.

Unofficial results show that Republicans will keep the supermajority in the Senate, 29-11. They are expected to grow their lead in the House, gaining three seats to 87-38.

That means we could see heated debates in 2021, with the governor on one side and Republican lawmakers on the other.

Governor Kelly reacted to the results at her weekly press conference on Wednesday.

“Election results will not alter my administrations commitment to working across the aisle to keep Kansans safe and healthy, grow our economy, and keep our schools open,” Kelly said. “We will not stop looking for bipartisan solutions to slow the spread of COVID-19, we will continue collaborating to advocate for Kansans and promote policies that make our state a better place for all who live here.”

Gov. Kelly said she has a history of working with Republicans, both as governor and as state senator.

“From the day that I walked on to the Senate floor, I realized that the only way that I was going to get anything done and be the least bit productive as a legislator was to go across the aisle, and form relationships, and work with people to pass good policy,” Kelly said. “I will continue to operate exactly that same way.”

There are three House races that are within nine votes, meaning some outcomes could change.

Outgoing Senate President Susan Wagle released a statement early Wednesday morning that addressed the wins by Republicans.

“Kansans made a clear choice tonight, not only by electing a super majority of Republican, freedom loving Kansas Senators, but also by taking out the entrenched Minority Leader who carried Laura Kelly’s liberal agenda of statewide mandates and business and school closures. The Senate will continue to be a balanced voice against the big government policies of our Governor and will continue to lead by creating public policy that grows Kansas and honors the principles of limited government and property rights; the very principles that created and sustain our American Dream.”

(R) Senate President Susan Wagle

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