Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle acknowledged Wednesday in a meeting with Republican college students that she doesn't have the votes to override the governor's veto of the session's most controversial tax bill.

Wagle, a Republican from Wichita, also said she likely will enter the race for the seat held by U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts but delayed the announcement to avoid conflict with lawmakers over her aspirations for higher office.

Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, vetoed legislation that offered tax relief for multinational corporations, individuals who itemize on state tax returns, and sales tax levied on food items. Kelly compared the bill, which is projected to lower revenue by $210 million in the next fiscal year, to 2012 tax cuts that wrecked the state's budget.

Washburn Law School Republicans invited Wagle to speak at a lunch gathering. The Senate president told them she thought she had the 27 votes needed to override the governor's veto when she left the Capitol on Tuesday. Then she lost the support of three Republicans.

"I won't be able to override her veto, which is a bad thing for Kansas," Wagle said.

In a wide-ranging discussion, Wagle talked about her political future, the fate of Medicaid expansion, and a district court judge whose appointment to a higher court imploded over the revelation of partisan tweets.

The Senate president said she would follow the tradition of stepping down after serving two terms in the top leadership post.

"I will not be running again for Kansas Senate," Wagle said. "When Pat Roberts announced he was not running, I put my name out there as a potential candidate. I am seriously thinking about that. I think it's likely to happen.

"I just want to get through session first. And if my colleagues, who I govern over as their Senate president, if they think all I'm trying to do right now is climb to higher office, I won't have a lot of respect from them in getting things done."

Shannon Golden, the spokeswoman for Wagle, said the Senate president was referring to Democrats who could attempt to derail her agenda.

Golden said Senate leadership still plans to put the veto override to a vote before the Legislature leaves at the end of the week.

Wagle said she expects to lose, "but I would venture to say a Republican who votes against that bill probably won't be re-elected in a couple of years."

Sen. Dennis Pyle, a Hiawatha Republican who voted against the bill, said he doesn't agree with everything Wagle says. He wasn't prepared to reveal whether he will support an override.

“It’s obvious they don’t have the votes yet," Pyle said, "or they would have ran it.”

Instead of overriding the veto, lawmakers have plenty of time to put together another tax package that might be more palatable to Republicans, Pyle said.

The tax plan, which Wagle helped craft through a special committee she created and chaired, passed the Senate on a 24-16 vote. At least 13 of the chamber's 40 members remain firmly opposed: 11 Democrats, independent Sen. John Doll, of Garden City, and Sen. John Skubal, R-Overland Park.

Assistant Minority Leader Oletha Faust-Goudeau, a Wichita Democrat, said Republicans are playing political games with their opposition to the governor. When Kelly was a senator from Topeka, Faust-Goudeau said, colleagues agreed with Kelly on a variety of issues.

“I’ll be honest with you," Faust-Goudeau said. "I’ve served under five governors, and I think even if you don’t always get along, it’s just common courtesy to let some of the process go in order to demonstrate that we’re all being good stewards of the people.”

The other issue looming over the Legislature is Medicaid expansion, a top priority for Kelly. The House passed a plan last month that is expected to have enough support to pass the Senate, where GOP leadership refuses to allow a vote.

Wagle said she wants to develop a Republican-based plan for Medicaid expansion over the summer. Her priorities include work requirements and drug testing. She also wants to see whether the federal government will approve a scaled-back version that offers health insurance to families whose income is at 100 percent of the federal poverty level instead of the typical 138 percent threshold.

"I think it's very important that we not promote the entitlement mentality," Wagle said, "and if you're an able-bodied person, we would like to get you to work."

Wagle said she expects Medicaid expansion to pass next year.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, said the issue is too important to too many Kansans to not pass an expansion bill this year.

"The overriding issue is whether we provide 150,000 Kansans with health insurance who do not have it, and I don’t think we should get distracted by the minutiae of the bill," Hensley said.

Wagle renewed her criticism of Labette County District Judge Jeffry Jack, who was selected by the governor to fill an appeals court vacancy. Kelly withdrew her nomination following revelations of Jack's profanity-laced personal attacks on Republicans on Twitter.

Wagle said Jack is "an embarrassment to the profession" who proves the value of Senate confirmation of executive branch appointees.

"I think there will be a letter sent to the judicial ethics commission," Wagle said, "because it certainly appears to me that this judge has a sitting judgeship, and he's violated all the ethical rules possible by being political, by name-calling on Tweets that are still up. You would think that would have already happened."