A free email newsletter breaking down the issues that affect Wichitans the most.
Delivered every Tuesday and Thursday morning
Wichita and the surrounding area account for only a fifth of the state’s population, but the region’s representatives in the 2023 Kansas Legislature include some of the most powerful politicians in Topeka, including House Speaker Dan Hawkins and Senate President Ty Masterson. Both men have the power to set the agenda of the entire legislature, holding outsized authority in determining what becomes law.
Of the 33 lawmakers who represent Sedgwick County — 20% of the state’s 165 legislators in all — 24 are in the state House and nine are in the Senate. The partisan scales tip in favor of Republicans for both chambers, with more than 70% of the Wichita-area delegation members of the majority party. For the House, that works out to 17 Republican representatives and seven Democrats, while on the Senate side are seven Republican senators and two Democrats.
In addition to holding some of the most senior positions, the south central Kansas delegation also includes six newly elected members who will sit for their first legislative session on Jan. 9: five state representatives and one state senator.
To learn who represents you in the 2023 Kansas Legislature, enter your address here.
What follows below is a brief biography of each Wichita-area legislator, with committee assignments and contact information. Because the Kansas Legislature is a part-time legislature, most members have outside jobs so we list those, too. Information was gathered from the 2023 Kansas Legislature website, campaign materials, social media and other publicly available sources. Photos are courtesy of the Kansas Legislature.
The Beacon will update this story with final committee assignments and contact information when that information is made available.
Kansas House of Representatives
Rep. Avery Anderson, House District 72
Republican Avery Anderson hails from Newton and works in insurance. Prior to being elected to the Kansas House of Representatives in 2020, he interned in the office of U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office and the Kansas Legislature. He graduated from the University of Kansas in 2019. The 72nd District straddles the intersection of Butler, Harvey and Sedgwick counties and includes the town of Newton and part of Sedgwick. Anderson chairs the Transportation and Public Safety Budget committee. He sits on the following committees: Financial Institutions and Rural Development; Transportation; and Appropriations.
Rep. Blake Carpenter, House District 81
Blake Carpenter, a Republican, was first elected to the Kansas House in November 2014 at age 23, just a month before graduating college. Carpenter works as a contractor in the aviation industry and is a member of the Kansas Air National Guard. The 81st District includes parts of McConnell Air Force Base, Wichita and Derby, where Carpenter resides. Carpenter is speaker pro tempore for the 2023 Kansas Legislature, the second-highest leadership position in the House after speaker. Carpenter is also vice chair of the legislative modernization committee.
Rep. Leah Howell, House District 82
Republican Leah Howell of Derby first served in the Kansas House in 2022 as a temporary substitute for Rep. Blake Carpenter; she was appointed to fill his seat while he was on military leave. During redistricting, Howell was moved to the 82nd District, which includes Derby and Mulvane, allowing her to run again without having to challenge Carpenter. Howell is married to Republican Jim Howell, current Sedgwick County commissioner for District 5. Leah Howell is vice chair of the newly created House Welfare Reform committee and will sit on the following committees: Insurance; Child Welfare and Foster Care; Elections; and Federal and State Affairs.
Rep. Henry Helgerson, House District 83
Democrat Henry Helgerson is from Eastborough and owns a business that outfits vendors for trade shows and conventions. His first stint in the Kansas House lasted nearly two decades, from 1983 to 2000. He served a partial term in the Kansas Senate from 2003 to 2004 and was again elected to the state House in 2016. The 83rd District includes Eastborough and part of eastern Wichita. Helgerson is the ranking minority member on the House Appropriations and Legislative Budget committees and sits on the Taxation committee.
Rep. Ford Carr, House District 84
Democrat Ford Carr is an aerospace engineer and community activist who will begin his first full term representing central Wichita’s 84th House District with the 2023 session. Carr was asked to run by the late Rep. Gail Finney after she decided against seeking reelection due to her failing health. Finney had served 12 years. Carr was appointed to finish the remainder of Finney’s final term after she died in August, and he ran unopposed for reelection to the seat. Carr sits on the following committees: Transportation and Public Safety Budget; Child Welfare and Foster Care; and Welfare Reform.
Rep. Patrick Penn, House District 85
Republican Patrick Penn is an Army veteran who lives in northeast Wichita and works in the aerospace industry. Penn was first elected in 2020 and represents the 85th House District, which straddles Sedgwick and Butler counties, and includes parts of Wichita, Kechi, Bel Aire, Benton and Greenwich. Penn is vice chair of the House Insurance committee and sits on the following committees: Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications; Legislative Modernization; Commerce, Labor and Economic Development; and Children and Seniors.
Rep. Silas Miller, House District 86
Democrat Silas Miller is a licensed cosmetologist and Marine veteran from Wichita. Miller is beginning his first term as state representative after winning election in November. The 86th House District is bisected by I-135 and encompasses part of Wichita south and east of downtown. Miller sits on the Insurance, Education, and Federal and State Affairs committees.
Rep. Susan Estes, House District 87
Republican Susan Estes is a former teacher from Wichita. She won election in 2020. She is married to U.S. Rep. Ron Estes, the congressman for Kansas’ 4th Congressional District. The 87th District encompasses part of eastern Wichita. Estes serves as the House Republican whip and vice chair of the House Education committee. She also sits on the K-12 Education Budget committee and the Appropriations committee.
Rep. Sandy Pickert, House District 88
Republican Sandy Pickert is a retired nurse from Wichita who is beginning her first term as a lawmaker after winning election in November. The district includes part of east Wichita north of McConnell Air Force Base and spans east into Butler County to include part of Andover. Pickert sits on the following committees: General Government Budget; Child Welfare and Foster Care; Welfare Reform; and Water.
Rep. KC Ohaebosim, House District 89
Democrat KC Ohaebosim is from Wichita and works as a data analyst in the defense contracting industry. He was first elected to the House in 2016. The district includes parts of north Wichita and Bel Aire. Ohaebosim is the ranking minority member of the Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications committee and sits on the Transportation and Social Services Budget committees.
Rep. Carl Maughan, House District 90
Republican Carl Maughan is an attorney and first-time lawmaker from Colwich. Maughan told The Beacon that he decided to pursue public office after his predecessor, former Rep. Steve Huebert, asked Maughan to take his place. Huebert stepped down in 2022. The district reaches across northern Sedgwick County to include Valley Center, Maize, Colwich, Bentley, Park City, Kechi and part of Wichita. Maughan sits on the following committees: Financial Institutions and Pensions; Corrections and Juvenile Justice; and Judiciary.
Rep. Emil Bergquist, House District 91
Republican Emil Bergquist from Park City is retired from the aviation industry. Bergquist was appointed in 2018 to finish the term of Rep. Greg Lakin when Lakin left office to join the administration of then-Gov. Sam Brownback. The 91st District encompasses part of northern Sedgwick County, including parts of Kechi, Park City, Valley Center and Wichita. Bergquist chairs the Local Government committee. He also sits in the following committees: Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications; Insurance; Health and Human Services; and Elections.
Rep. John Carmichael, House District 92
Democrat John Carmichael is an attorney from Wichita. Carmichael assumed office in 2013 to finish the term of Rep. Nile Dillmore, who resigned. The district includes the Riverside neighborhood and parts of northwest Wichita. Carmichael is the ranking minority member on the House Judiciary Committee. He also sits on the Corrections and Juvenile Justice committee and the Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications committee.
Rep. Brian Bergkamp, House District 93
Republican Brian Bergkamp is an accountant who lives in Wichita and has worked at Koch Industries. He was first elected to the state House in 2020. The district encompasses southwest Sedgwick County and includes Cheney, Clearwater, Haysville, Peck, Viola and part of Wichita. Bergkamp is vice chair of the Taxation committee. He also sits on the following committees: Health and Human Services; Federal and State Affairs; and Financial Institutions and Rural Development.
Rep. Leo Delperdang, House District 94
Republican Leo Delperdang is a retired engineer who resides in Wichita and was first elected to the state House in 2016. The district includes western Wichita. Delperdang chairs the Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications committee and sits on the Transportation committee and the Transportation and Public Safety Budget committee.
Rep. Tom Sawyer, House District 95
Democrat Tom Sawyer, an accountant from Wichita, was elected to the Kansas House in 2013. He served previous terms from 1987-1998 and from 2003-2008. The 95th District includes southwest Wichita east of the Arkansas River. Sawyer is the ranking minority member on the Taxation committee, and sits on the Higher Education Budget committee and the Financial Institutions and Pensions committee.
Rep. Tom Kessler, House District 96
Republican Tom Kessler, a liquor store owner from Wichita, was first elected to the House in 2020. The district includes south Wichita. Kessler is vice chair of the Federal and State Affairs committee and sits on the Taxation committee and the Commerce, Labor and Economic Development committee.
Rep. Nick Hoheisel, House District 97
Republican Nick Hoheisel is a business manager from Wichita who was first elected to the state House in 2018. The 97th district includes Wichita’s southwest corner. Hoheisel chairs the Financial Institutions and Pensions committee and is vice chair of the Financial Institutions and Rural Development committee. He also sits on the Transportation and Taxation committees.
Rep. Cyndi Howerton, House District 98
Republican Cyndi Howerton is a tax service manager from Wichita. She assumed office in August 2021 to complete the term of Rep. Ron Howard after he died. The 98th district includes parts of Wichita, Haysville and Oaklawn-Sunview. Howerton is vice chair of the Water committee. She also sits on the following committees: Insurance; Legislative Modernization; Child Welfare and Foster Care; and Elections.
Rep. Susan Humphries, House District 99
Republican Susan Humphries is an adoption attorney from Wichita who was first elected in 2016. The 99th district straddles part of Sedgwick and Butler counties and includes Andover and Wichita. Humphries sits on the following committees: Child Welfare and Foster Care; Welfare Reform; Judiciary; and Federal and State Affairs.
Rep. Daniel Hawkins, House District 100
Republican Daniel Hawkins is an insurance agent from northwest Wichita who was first elected in 2012. After previously serving as the House majority leader, Hawkins is speaker of the Kansas House of Representatives beginning with the 2023 session.
Rep. Joe Seiwert, House District 101
Republican Joe Seiwert is an agricultural business owner from Pretty Prairie. He has been in office since 2009. The district straddles parts of Sedgwick and Reno counties and includes part of Wichita, Goddard, Haven, Andale, Garden Plain, Mount Hope, Pretty Prairie and St. Marks. Seiwert is vice chair of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Budget committee and sits on the Agriculture and Natural resources committee and the Water committee.
Rep. Angela Martinez, House District 103
Democrat Angela Martinez is a youth care counselor and community activist from Wichita. Martinez will begin her first term as a lawmaker after winning election in November. The district includes part of central Wichita just west of I-135 from south of Kellogg Avenue north to I-235. Martinez sits on the Financial Institutions and Pensions committee and the Corrections and Juvenile Justice committee.
Rep. Brenda Landwehr, House District 105
Republican Brenda Landwehr is a retired business owner from Wichita. Landwehr first served in the Kansas House from 1995 to 2012 and was again elected in 2016. The district includes part of western Wichita. Landwehr chairs the House Health and Human Services committee, is vice chair of the K-12 Education Budget committee and sits on the Appropriations committee.
Sen. Ty Masterson, Senate District 16
Republican Ty Masterson is from Andover and was first elected to the Kansas Senate in 2008, after serving in the Kansas House from 2005-2008. The district is split between Sedgwick and Butler counties and includes the cities of Andover, Augusta, Benton, Rose Hill and Whitewater, and parts of Bel Aire, Derby, Kechi and Wichita, along with part of McConnell Air Force Base. Masterson is president of the Senate and sits on the Senate Ways and Means committee.
Sen. Mary Ware, Senate District 25
Democrat Mary Ware is from Wichita and co-owns a CBD store with her spouse. Ware was first appointed to fill the remaining term of Rep. Lynn Rogers when he was elected Kansas lieutenant governor in 2018 before becoming state treasurer in 2021. The district includes Riverside and west Wichita. Ware is the ranking minority member on the Agriculture and Natural Resources committee and sits on the Commerce committee.
Sen. Dan Kerschen, Senate District 26
Republican Dan Kerschen is a farmer from Garden Plain and was first elected to the Kansas Senate in 2012. He was in the Kansas House for four years before that. The district covers a large part of south Sedgwick County and includes the towns of Cheney, Garden Plain, Haysville and Mulvane and parts of Clearwater, Derby, Goddard and Wichita. Kerschen chairs the Agriculture and Natural Resources committee. He sits on the Assessment and Taxation committee and the Ways and Means committee.
Sen. Chase Blasi, Senate District 27
Republican Chase Blasi, from Wichita, is a former state house staffer tapped to fill the seat of former Sen. Gene Suellentrop, who resigned Jan. 2. Blasi used to work in the Senate president’s office, first for Susan Wagle and later for Ty Masterson. The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that Blasi left his job in Masterson’s office in July for a position at energy company Evergy. The district includes part of northwest Wichita, the towns of Andale and Colwich and parts of Goddard and Maize. Blasi sits on the following committees: Assessment and Taxation; Education; Federal and State Affairs; and Public Health and Welfare.
Phone: Blasi’s phone number at his capitol office was not immediately available. The Beacon will update this post when the legislature’s directory is updated.
Sen. Mike Petersen, Senate District 28
Republican Mike Petersen is an industrial electrician from Wichita. He was first elected to the Kansas Senate in 2004. The district is in southern Sedgwick County and includes Oaklawn-Sunview and parts of Derby, McConnell Air Force Base and Wichita. Petersen is chair of the Senate Transportation committee and vice chair of the Utilities committee. He also sits on the Federal and State Affairs committee and the Assessment and Taxation committee.
Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau, Senate District 29
Democrat Oletha Faust-Goudeau is from Wichita. After winning election in 2008, she became the first African-American woman to serve in the Kansas Senate. She was in the state House from 2003 to 2008. The district includes central and north-central Wichita and part of Kechi. Faust-Goudeau is the Senate assistant minority leader. She is the ranking minority member on both the Transparency and Ethics committee and the Federal and State Affairs committee. She also sits on the Local Government committee.
Sen. Renee Erickson, Senate District 30
Republican Renee Erickson is a retired public school administrator from Wichita. She was first elected to the state Senate in 2020 and served one term in the state House from 2019 to 2020. The district includes east Wichita and parts of Andover and Eastborough. Erickson is the Senate assistant majority leader and chairs the Senate Commerce committee. She is vice chair of the Education committee and the Public Health and Welfare committee and sits on the Assessment and Taxation committee.
Sen. Carolyn McGinn, Senate District 31
Republican Carolyn McGinn is an agricultural producer from Sedgwick and has served in the Senate since 2005. The district includes Harvey County as well as Bentley, Mount Hope, Park City, Sedgwick and Valley Center in Sedgwick County, and parts of Bel Aire, Kechi, Maize and Wichita. McGinn chairs the Local Government committee and is vice chair of the Transparency and Ethics committee. She also sits on the Ways and Means committee and the Agriculture and Natural Resources committee.
Sen. Larry Alley, Senate District 32
Republican Larry Alley is a retired aerospace project manager from Winfield who was first elected to the state Senate in 2016. The district spans seven counties: Barber, Comanche, Harper, Sumner, Cowley, Kingman and the southwest corner of Sedgwick. Alley is the Senate majority leader and sits on the Ways and Means committee.