GOP Picks Leaders for 2009

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Republicans have nominated Senate President Steve Morris for a second term in the chamber's top position.

Morris, a moderate from Hugoton, defeated conservative Sen. Susan Wagle of Wichita in an 18-13 vote by the GOP caucus today. Morris' selection all but assures that moderate Republicans will control the Senate in the coming session.

Also today, Senate Vice President John Vratil wins a three-way race to keep his position, defeating conservative opponents Terry Bruce and Karin Brownlee. This is the second term for Vratil.

Republican moderate Derek Schmidt was unopposed in his bid for a second term as Senate Majority Leader.