Monday, January 12, 2009
Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, was sworn into the office of 19th District State Senator for the fifth consecutive time Monday, a feat which will make him the longest serving legislator in Kansas history.
"Anthony Hensley has spent his entire adult life serving the State of Kansas and its citizens," Governor Kathleen Sebelius said. "In his more than three decades in the Kansas Legislature, Anthony has worked tirelessly to maintain essential services for disabled and older Kansans, to provide quality public education to all children, and to improve the economic well-being of working families and small businesses. The residents of the 19th Senate District should feel proud to have such a committed, hardworking public servant on their side."
When his current term expires in 2012, Hensley will have surpassed former State Senator Ross Doyen, R-Concordia, who served 34 years in the Kansas Senate and House of Representatives. Doyen retired from the legislature in 1992.
Hensley was first elected to the Kansas Legislature in 1976 at the age of 23. He served 16 years in the Kansas House of Representatives before being appointed to the Kansas Senate on July 1, 1992. In 1997, Hensley was elected Senate Democratic Leader and is now in his fourth term in that office.
Also making the history books today are Senators Oletha Faust-Goudeau, D-Wichita, and Kelly Kultala, D-Kansas City. Faust-Goudeau becomes the first-ever African American woman to serve in the Kansas Senate and both will be the first-ever women to serve their respective senate districts.
"It is essential to the well-being and growth of our state that there be women serving in elected office," said Assistant Senate Democratic Leader Janis Lee, D-Kensington. "I'm proud to have two strong, capable women joining the ranks of our caucus and am confident that both Senator Faust-Goudeau and Senator Kultala will be strong advocates for our families, our communities and our state."
Senator Faust-Goudeau represents the 29th Senate District, covering parts of southeast Wichita and Kechi Township.
Senator Kultala serves the 5th Senate District, which includes Lansing, Leavenworth, northwest Bonner Springs, and Kansas City.