Rep. Ray Merrick will serve a second term as majority leader in the Kansas House.
House Republicans picked Merrick, of Stilwell, over Rep. Jene Vickrey, of Louisburg. The vote was 40-37.
The decision means Johnson County, the state's most populous county, will retain an important post in the House. The majority leader often acts as the majority party's spokesman.
Merrick was appointed to the House in 2000 and won his first full term later that year. Vickrey won his seat in 1992.