A Kansas lawmaker who was forced out of one of the state Senate's most powerful jobs following an arrest for drunken driving and speeding the wrong way on two interstate highways is planning to leave the Legislature in early January.

Former Senate Majority Leader Sen. Gene Suellentrop, a Wichita Republican, confirmed Tuesday that he plans to retire Jan. 2, saying in an email that his 13 years as a lawmaker “is long enough.”

State senators aren’t up for reelection until 2024, and Republicans in his district plan to meet Dec. 14 to name a replacement to serve the rest of his four-year term.

Republican senators who picked Suellentrop in December 2020 to set the chamber’s daily debate calendar and run their caucus meetings stripped him of the majority leader’s title four months later, though he kept his Senate seat.

His ouster as majority leader came less than a month after his March 2021 arrest and criminal charges that included attempting to elude law enforcement, a felony.

© Copyright LaPresse