Hensley: Appeals swearing in timed to avoid vote

STEGALL

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – The Kansas Senate’s top Democrat says he worries the swearing in of Gov. Sam Brownback’s chief counsel as a state appeals judge is being deliberately delayed until next year.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley is concerned the delay is to prevent a November 2014 vote on whether appointee Caleb Stegall stays on the bench.

The GOP-dominated Senate confirmed Stegall’s appointment Sept. 4. Stegall isn’t being sworn in until Jan. 3.

If Stegall took his seat before Nov. 4, he’d face his first statewide retention vote in the November 2014 general election. But with his swearing in set for next year, he won’t be on the ballot until November 2016.

The governor’s office says it wasn’t involved in setting the date. Court officials say the timing is tied to budget issues.

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