Thad Allton/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP, File

Kansas governor-elect names legislative aide as staff chief

December 07, 2018 - 5:22 am

Kansas Gov.-elect Laura Kelly has named a Democratic legislative leader's top aide as her chief of staff.

The incoming Democratic governor announced Will Lawrence's appointment Thursday and said he has a "sharp understanding of the legislative process."

Lawrence had been chief of staff to Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka since 2016 after serving as Hensley's staff attorney. He also was in a law firm with former Kansas House Minority Leader Paul Davis.

During the governor's race, Lawrence filed an unsuccessful legal challenge to independent candidate Greg Orman's right to appear on the November ballot.

Kelly also has named 23 advisers for her transition team who include former Republican Gov. Mike Hayden. Also among them is former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer, who lost to Kelly in the Democratic primary.

Senate Minority Leader Hensley announced Thursday that Kerry Gooch will serve as his top aide. Gooch replaces Will Lawrence, who became Gov.-elect Laura Kelly's chief of staff.

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