Kansas Governor

Kansas Gov.-elect Laura Kelly, right, answers questions from reporters during news conference as Lt. Gov. Lynn Rogers, left, watches, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan.

TOPEKA, KS (AP) -- Kansas Gov.-elect Laura Kelly has named a Democratic legislative leader's top aide as her chief of staff.

The incoming Democratic governor announced Will Lawrence's appointment Thursday and said he has a "sharp understanding of the legislative process."

Lawrence had been chief of staff to Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka since 2016 after serving as Hensley's staff attorney. He also was in a law firm with former Kansas House Minority Leader Paul Davis.

During the governor's race, Lawrence filed an unsuccessful legal challenge to independent candidate Greg Orman's right to appear on the November ballot.

Kelly also has named 23 advisers for her transition team who include former Republican Gov. Mike Hayden. Also among them is former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer, who lost to Kelly in the Democratic primary.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.

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