TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Attorneys on both sides of a federal lawsuit filed in Kansas over political redistricting have ties to House Speaker Mike O'Neal.
Secretary of State Kris Kobach filed his response Wednesday to the lawsuit from Robyn Renee Essex, a Republican precinct committee member from Olathe (oh-LAY'-thuh). Kobach is the only defendant, and his attorney is Ryan Kriegshauser, a deputy assistant secretary of state.
Kriegshauser's wife, Christie, is O'Neal's chief of staff.
One of Essex's attorneys is Brent Haden, of Columbia, Mo. Haden is a former chief of staff for O'Neal.
Both Kobach and O'Neal are conservative Republicans, and GOP conservatives are locked in a dispute with moderate Republicans over redrawing the Senate's 40 districts.
But Kobach said during a news conference that he doesn't know Essex and isn't consulting with O'Neal.