TOPEKA — Republican Kansas Sen. Carolyn McGinn plans to be a candidate for Senate majority leader following the November election.
She said in a letter to GOP Senate candidates that she would compete for the slot created by retirement of Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning of Johnson County. Republicans elected to the Senate will meet before the 2021 legislative session to determine who replaces Denning and who takes over for Senate President Susan Wagle. She also didn’t seek re-election.
McGinn, a farmer from the community of Sedgwick, has represented Harvey County and northern Sedgwick County since elected to the Senate in 2005. She’s chairs the influential Senate Ways and Means Committee.
“Our state is at a crossroads and in desperate need of real leadership,” McGinn said in the letter. “During my tenure in the Senate, I have successfully represented our Republican values in the budgeting process and led my committee with the work ethic of a Kansas farmer.
“I have a proven record as a fair and honest chairperson, giving everyone an opportunity to have their voice heard, especially when I disagreed with them. The Legislature has taught me the value of straight talk and I know nothing else matters if you lose the trust of your colleagues. It‘s how I have served and how I will lead.”
The Senate majority leader has a central role in determining what bills are taken up on the floor by all 40 members.
In 2012, she was among Republicans targeted by Gov. Sam Brownback amid his campaign to oust moderates in the Senate. McGinn prevailed in that election.
Republicans are certain to have a substantial majority when the 2021 session begins in January. Currently, there are 29 Republicans and 11 Democrats in the Senate.