The leader of the Republican majority in the Kansas House has been chosen to fill a vacancy in the state Senate.

The leader of the Republican majority in the Kansas House has been chosen to fill a vacancy in the state Senate.


Sen. Jeff Colyer, of Olathe (oh-LAY'-thuh), has held the seat since 2009. But he's giving it up after being elected lieutenant governor earlier this month as the running mate of Gov.-elect Sam Brownback.


This week, Republican precinct committee members in the Johnson County district elected House Majority Leader Ray Merrick, of Stilwell, to fill Colyer's unexpired Senate term. The district includes portions of Olathe and Overland Park.


Two other Senate seats remain to be filled before the 2011 session. Republican Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt, of Independence, was elected attorney general, and Republican Sen. Tim Huelskamp, of Fowler, was elected to Congress for the 1st District of Kansas.