Archive for Thursday, December 7, 2000

Ballou voted assistant majority leader; O`Connor awaits assignment

December 7, 2000

John Ballou, DeSoto`s representative to the Kansas House, was elected Monday to a leadership position within the majority Republican Party.

Following the election of Kent Glasscock of Manhattan as speaker of the House, Ballou was elected assistant House majority leader.

Ballou said his duties will include serving as a link between House leadership and the GOP House caucus. He will also help Republican members with such things as scheduling and advancing their bills, Ballou said.

The Gardner Republican said he would give up his position on the House Education Committee. Although committee assignments won`t be final until next week, Ballou said he expects to stay on the transportation committee and become a member of the tourism committee.

"I`ve been on education for six years," he said. "It`s time for me to move on, and bring someone on with new and fresh ideas.

"I still have influence on education as assistant majority leader."

Kay O`Connor is also awaiting her committee assignment as a newly elected member of the Kansas Senate.

The Olathe Republican represents DeSoto and said she remains hopeful of getting a seat on the education committee but realizes she is a freshman. O`Connor gave up her seat in the House to run against Republican incumbent Rick Becker.

A member of her party`s conservative wing, O`Connor said moderate Republicans appear to hold a slim majority in the Senate. How that will affect her desire to serve on the education and election committees remains to be seen, she said.

"There are those who like Kay, and those who don`t," she said.

Her strong advocacy for such things as school vouchers often put her at odds with House leadership, O`Connor said. She is looking forward to the fresh start her Senate seat offers.

"I`ve been in the being-punished department for so long," she said. "One thing about the Senate, there are so few people to do all the work."

Commenting has been disabled for this item.