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Couture-Lovelady falls short of spot





TOPEKA -- He didn't win this time, but the experience could prove valuable if Travis Couture-Lovelady opts to run for a leadership position in the future.

"It definitely was," a good experience, said Couture-Lovelady, a Palco Republican who was defeated in his bid to assume the vacant majority whip position in the state Legislature. "Even though I didn't ultimately prevail, I felt like I learned a lot through the experience, got to know a lot of my colleagues quite a bit better. I think it's a great experience for the possibility of running for something down the road."

Ron Ryckman Jr., a freshman legislator from Olathe, received 62 of 90 votes in Monday's election. Ryckman's father is Ron Ryckman Sr., a Meade Republican who was elected state representative in 2010.

Couture-Lovelady said he ran to give western Kansas a voice in a leadership position. Brian Weber of Dodge City, who was the majority whip, resigned from the Legislature at the end of the 2013 session in the spring.

"There were some folks who approached me (after Weber stepped down) for running for that, make sure we still had a western Kansas voice in leadership," said Couture-Lovelady, who served his first term in the Legislature in the last session. "Unfortunately, it didn't work out. ... I feel like we'll still be OK. (Ron Ryckman Jr.) is a good guy, has western Kansas roots. He'll do a good job."