Democrats choose ‘bridge builder’ as new leader


Less combat. More collegiality.

House Democrats struck out on a new direction Monday, choosing Rep. Tom Sawyer over incumbent Rep. Jim Ward as their new leader.

With a Democrat in the governor's office and the House tilting more conservative, Democrats chose Sawyer over Ward, the lawmaker from Wichita who some consider pugnacious.

Sawyer defeated Ward by a vote of 26-14. He will be the Democrats' third leader since 2014.

In other leadership races Monday, from the Republican side:

  • House Speaker Ron Ryckman Jr. turned back a challenge from incoming state Rep. Owen Donohoe of Shawnee 80 . . .


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