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New Kansas Senate president fills out office staff

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Incoming Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle has appointed three new aides, filling her last staff vacancies.

The Wichita Republican announced Thursday that Harrison Hems will be her legislative director. Hems will leave the Kansas Department of Transportation, where he's been a liaison to Congress.

Wagle appointed Jan Johnston as executive assistant. Johnston most recently worked in the Kansas House as an aide to Republicans Clay Aurand of Belleville and Elaine Bowers of Concordia.

The new Senate president's personal secretary will be Margaret Cianciarulo. She's been Wagle's secretary during legislative sessions since 2001.

Wagle already has named former House staffers Ryan Gilliland and Aly Rodee as her chief of staff and communications director.

Wagle becomes Senate president when lawmakers open their 2013 session on Jan. 14.