In 1986, two major milestones took place for Gov. Brownback and Mary. Their first child, Abby, was born and Gov. Brownback became Secretary of the Kansas Board of Agriculture, the youngest in state history. The farming industry was struggling in the late 80’s. Gov. Brownback worked to renew the rural heartland by actively engaging in re-opening U.S. beef trade in Asia, expanding market opportunities for agriculture products, and promoting new uses of farm commodities. During his time as Agriculture Secretary, Gov. Brownback served as a White House Fellow in the George H.W. Bush Administration.
In 1994, Gov. Brownback was elected to Congress in the Republican Revolution that brought the first Republican-controlled House of Representatives to Washington since Dwight D. Eisenhower was President. Gov. Brownback was selected by other freshman Congressmen to be the head of the New Federalists, a group focused on producing a smaller federal government and a balanced budget. Two years later Kansans elected Gov. Brownback to the U.S. Senate seat once held by Bob Dole.
In the Senate, Gov. Brownback was an effective advocate for Kansas interests. He served as the top-ranking Republican on the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, which oversees U.S. Department of Agriculture programs as well as agencies responsible for food safety and protection of public health such as the Food and Drug Administration. As a member of the Homeland Security Subcommittee, Gov. Brownback’s top priority was to ensure full support for the National Bio and Agro-Defense facility in Kansas. As part of the team that won this competition for Kansas, Gov. Brownback worked hard to see that Kansas reaped the full benefits of this exciting development. He believed deeply then as he does now that we must defend traditional marriage, confirm judges who will interpret the law and not legislate from the bench, protect and renew our American culture, and defend innocent human life at every stage of development. He pledged he would serve only two full elected terms in the U.S. Senate. In 2010, he honored his pledge and did not seek reelection. Instead, he returned to Kansas and ran for Governor.
As the 46th governor of Kansas, Gov. Brownback is focused on getting the state’s economy growing again and creating jobs through streamlined regulations, controlled spending, and lower taxes. Gov. Brownback believes the only lasting solution to Kansas’ fiscal challenges is sustained economic growth and new job creation. Getting more Kansans working again and businesses growing will lead to increased revenues, less reliance on government, and adequate funding for core state programs and services.
Since taking office, the administration has proposed fiscally responsible budgets, consolidated state agencies, eliminated outdated programs, cut income taxes for working Kansans and small business owners, and enacted laws that protect the sanctity of life. These efforts have resulted in balanced budgets and historic tax reform, allowing hard-working Kansans to keep more of their own money. The state’s economy is growing and more Kansans are working. Governor Brownback and Lieutenant Governor Dr. Jeff Colyer are committed to working with Kansas business and community leaders from across the state as well as current and former state legislators to craft Kansas solutions.