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Kansas Chamber has new communications director

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- The influential Kansas Chamber of Commerce has created a position to oversee its communications and special events and promoted a staffer internally to fill the new job.

Chamber CEO Officer Mike O'Neal announced Thursday that Emily Mitchell will serve as director of communications and special events.

Mitchell has been the organization's executive assistant since April 2011. She is a Kansas State University graduate.

The chamber's clout grew with the 2012 elections, which saw conservative Republicans retain their majority in the Kansas House and topple moderate GOP leaders in the Senate. Also, O'Neal is the departing House speaker, having decided not to seek re-election to the Legislature last year.