Thanks for visiting my website! Representing District 124 in the Kansas House of Representatives is a tremendous privilege and a thrilling opportunity. I became interested in the Legislature after serving as County Commissioner for 14 years. That experience gave me a better insight into local government and helped inspire me to become involved in state government.
I started my career on the family farm in 1976 after graduating from Ulysses High School in 1975. My Dad was somewhat apprehensive about my career choice. He did his best to describe the high and low frustrations associated with farming and encouraged me to make another choice, but I had made up my mind. It didn’t take long to realize what my Dad was talking about. By 1980, I experienced my first crop failure. It was a major setback and important life lesson bestowed upon me. It prepared me for what was to come and made me a better farmer.
As the years rolled by my wife Debbie (Hileman) and I started 2 small businesses with the support of 20 employees to help supplement our farm income. It was from that experience that I truly started learning the importance of state government policies and the effect those policies have or don’t have towards creating a “business friendly” environment in Kansas. I also learned that my small business career was no different than my farming career. It was a challenge every day to succeed!
My story is no different than a lot of others living in this district. We have all experienced gains and losses, hardships and success. The environment we live in shapes our lives and contributes to the character each of us demonstrates. The success of families and businesses in this district are extremely important to me. Prosperity and the potential to succeed are core values that define us. I ran for the Kansas Legislature to help preserve these values.
Unfortunately, rural Kansas is changing at a rapid pace. While technology has enriched our lives, innovative job opportunities in urban areas continue to erode our population. Competing with these urban areas to attract industry and jobs is the single biggest threat to our tax base and district. While we continue to capitalize on our many strengths and work to mitigate our weakness, there is no easy “fix” to this complex issue. Beware of those that say they have all the answers to this problem. I have observed many people in Topeka who need to let the cut under their nose heal.
However, state government does have a role in the future of our district. Issues like education, water, broadband, infrastructure, and healthcare are core principals that remain important to us. It is imperative that our district fully participate in the legislative process and that our concerns regarding these issues are addressed. I hope this website informs you of some of those issues and how I voted to represent this district.
Our future will be what we make of it. I’m convinced District 124 has a bright future, and I want to work hard on your behalf to ensure that success. I appreciate any feedback concerning issues facing our district and our state. Thanks for visiting!