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TOPEKA, Kan. — A top Republican lawmaker who worked with Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly on a plan for expanding Medicaid in Kansas is not seeking reelection.

Kansas Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning said Friday that it’s time for him to focus again on his wife and business.

The Overland Park Republican is the retired CEO of an eye care and optical surgery company and was expected to have a tough re-election race this year.

Denning has been majority leader since 2016. He helped block Medicaid expansion in 2019 but drafted his own plan in October and worked with Kelly on a bipartisan proposal that stalled. 

In a statement posted on Twitter, Denning also lamented over partisan politics during his tenure.

“Unfortunately, I have seen too much hyper partisan gamesmanship and we should not allow such partisanship to continue in this pattern,” he stated.

He called on lawmakers to work together going forward for the betterment of Kansas over individual wins.