Government in Kansas is based on the constitution of 1859, adopted just before Kansas attained statehood. An elected governor serves a term of four years. The legislature has a senate with 40 members and a house of representatives with 125 members. Kansas is represented in the U.S. Congress by four representatives and two senators and has six electoral votes in presidential elections. The state has long been a Republican stronghold but has had some Democratic governors. Republican Bill P. Graves, elected in 1994 and reelected in 1998, was succeeded by Democrat Kathleen Sebelius, who also won (2002, 2006) two terms. Sebelius resigned in 2009 to become U.S. secretary of health and human services and was succeeded by Lieutenant Governor Mark Parkinson, also a Democrat. Republican Sam Brownback was elected to the post in 2010.
Institutions of higher learning include the Univ. of Kansas, at Lawrence; Kansas State Univ., at Manhattan; Wichita State Univ., at Wichita; and Washburn Univ. of Topeka, at Topeka.