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New Kansas House speaker names 3 staff members

Published on -12/19/2012, 7:12 AM

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Incoming Kansas House Speaker Ray Merrick has filled three staff positions.

The Stilwell Republican announced the appointment Tuesday of Rachel Whitten as his communications director. Whitten served most recently as public information officer for the Department for Children and Families.

She'll join Wade Hapgood and Sharon Chandler in the speaker's office.

Hapgood will be legislative director. He previously worked for House Republicans as both political and communications director but most recently has been a business analyst for the secretary of state's office.

Chandler will be Merrick's executive administrative assistant. She worked for Merrick in a similar capacity when he served in the Senate for the past two years.

Merrick is returning to the House after his stint in the Senate. He becomes speaker when the 2013 session opens Jan. 14.

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