Republicans name top Kobach deputy to Kansas Senate seat

December 15, 2018 - 9:11 am
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Republicans have picked Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's top deputy to fill a vacant state Senate seat, making the chamber more conservative.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Assistant Secretary of State Eric Rucker will replace Insurance Commissioner-elect Vicki Schmidt of Topeka. Rucker will serve the remaining two years of Schmidt's four-year Senate term.

The Topeka-area district's Republican precinct committee members voted 117-54 Friday evening for Rucker over former state Rep. Joe Patton.

Schmidt is a GOP moderate who served 14 years in the Senate and was its health committee chairwoman before being elected insurance commissioner.

Rucker is a conservative and has been Kobach's top deputy since 2011. He previously was top deputy for former Attorney General Phill Kline, another conservative.

Kobach lost the governor's race to Democrat Laura Kelly.

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