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Kansas House speaker names new chief of staff

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Kansas House Speaker Ray Merrick has a new chief of staff after his top aide took a high-level job at the state Chamber of Commerce.

Merrick says Wade Hapgood will replace Christie Kriegshauser as his chief of staff.

Kriegshauser is joining the Kansas Chamber of Commerce next week as vice president for political affairs. She previously worked for Mike O'Neal, the chamber's president and CEO, when he was speaker of the House.

Hapgood has been Merrick's legislative director since Merrick became speaker in January. Hapgood previously was an aide to Merrick when the Stilwell Republican was House majority leader from 2007 through 2010.

Merrick says he'll name a new legislative director soon.