Schmidt Resigns From Kansas Senate

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Kansas Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt announced his resignation from his Kansas Senate post on Friday.

Schmidt, who was elected Kansas attorney general earlier this month, notified Secretary of State Chris Biggs of his resignation, effective January 10th, 2011. That is the date on which Schmidt will be sworn in as attorney general.

"It has been a tremendous honor to represent the 15th State Senate district for the past 10 years," said Schmidt, R-Independence. "We have done some good work on public policy and made some real gains for our district, and I'm truly grateful to have had the opportunity to serve my friends and neighbors in the nine counties of the 15th district. I'm looking forward to serving the entire state as our attorney general."

Under Kansas law, Schmidt's announcement sets in motion the process for selecting a replacement to serve the remaining two years of his current Senate term. The Republican county chairman in Montgomery county, the county with the greatest number of qualified voters in the district, must soon convene a 15th Senate district convention. The convention, which will be attended by Republican precinct committee men and women who were elected in August, will select a person to replace Schmidt in the Senate for the next two years. Voters will next decide who their Senator will be in 2012.

Schmidt first was elected to the Senate in 2000 and was re-elected in 2004 and 2008. He has served as the Republican majority leader since 2005, and the Senate Republican caucus will elect a new majority leader before the state of the 2011 legislative session.