Jim Denning

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Jim Denning
Majority Leader of the Kansas Senate
In office
January 9, 2017 – January 11, 2021
Preceded byTerry Bruce
Succeeded byGene Suellentrop
Member of the Kansas Senate
from the 8th district
In office
January 2013 – January 11, 2021
Preceded byTim Owens
Succeeded byCindy Holscher
Member of the Kansas House of Representatives
from the 19th district
In office
Preceded byDolores Furtado
Succeeded byStephanie Clayton
Personal details
Born (1956-08-13) August 13, 1956 (age 64)
Great Bend, Kansas, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Marearl Denning
EducationFort Hays State University (BA)

Jim Denning (born August 13, 1956), is a former Republican member of the Kansas Senate, representing the 8th district from 2013 to 2021.

Early life[edit]

On August 13, 1956, Denning was born in Great Bend, Kansas. Denning's father was Paul Denning, an oil field worker. Denning's mother was Albertine Denning. Denning was the sixth of nine siblings.[1]


In 1980, Denning earned a B.A. degree in Finance from Fort Hays State University.[1] [2]


In 2010, Denning began to serve the Kansas House of Representatives,[1] having defeated incumbent Democrat Dolores Furtado and representing District 19 from 2011 to 2013. Denning was succeeded by Republican Stephanie Clayton. He was first elected to the state Senate in 2012,[3] with support from Governor Sam Brownback, the health care industry and the Koch brothers,[4] defeating moderate Republican incumbent Tim Owens[5] and was re-elected to the Senate in 2016. On December 5, 2016, Denning was elected as the Senate Majority Leader. The American Conservative Union gave him a lifetime evaluation of 79%. [6] In 2020, he worked with Democratic Governor Laura Kelly to craft a bipartisan Medicaid expansion plan. He said Wagle's tactics were crafted "without my input" nor did they reflect his plans, continuing, "Her statements are obstructive and not how we should be governing."[7]

He is not seeking re-election in 2020.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Denning's wife is Marearl Denning. They have two children.[1]

Denning's brother Frank was the elected sheriff of Johnson County, Kansas for thirteen years, before retiring in 2017.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d "Senator Jim Denning's Biography". votesmart.org. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  2. ^ Biography. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  3. ^ 2012 Election results, Kansas Secretary of State, November 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  4. ^ Denning, Jim, National Institute on Money in State Politics. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  5. ^ End may be coming for GOP moderates, Lawrence Journal-World, Scott Rothschild, July 22, 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  6. ^ http://votesmart.org/candidate/125044/jim-denning#.UftVB2RxtHs Project Vote Smart]. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  7. ^ Kansas anti-abortion measure fails; Medicaid plan targeted Republican lawmakers in Kansas have failed to get a proposed anti-abortion amendment to the state constitution on the ballot, ABC News, John Hanna (AP), February 7, 2020. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  8. ^ "Kansas GOP leader pushing Medicaid plan not running again". Salina Post. May 8, 2020. Retrieved May 14, 2020.
  9. ^ Johnson County Sheriff Frank Denning won’t run again, Kansas City Star, Roxy Hammill, JANUARY 5, 2016. Retrieved 2 February 2017.

External links[edit]

Kansas Senate
Preceded by
Terry Bruce
Majority Leader of the Kansas Senate