Samuel Dale Brownback, the second term running Governor of Kansas grew up in a modest environment and aspired to lead his hometown someday. In 2010, his dream came true when he was elected as the 46th Governor of Kansas. He outwitted the Democratic representative, Tom Holland in the 2010 general election, by almost double the votes Tom received. He went on to be the incumbent winner of the 2014 elections with a marginal edge over Democrat, Paul Davis. Since he comes from a meek dwelling he has emphasised on the importance of hard-work, responsibility and teamwork throughout his term as Governor. The modesty of his parents, as they continue to be farmers, despite their son being the state chief executive, in a nutshell sums up the values he has imbibed from them. He hasvoiced his opinion in favour of procreation, terming himself “pro-life” and as governor has banned sex-selection abortions and opposes same-sex marriages. Some of his opinions haven’t gone down well with many sections of society and his statements have led him into quite a few controversies. Though a major part of his career has been wound around various government offices. He used to practice law and is a licensed attorney.
Childhood & Early life
Born in 1956 on 12th September in Garnett he was raised in a family of farmers in Parker, Kansas. His mother Nancy Cowden and father Glen Robert Brownback are of German descent. His ancestors immigrated to Kansas after the Civil War broke out in Pennsylvania.
He had always been a brilliant student. He attended Prairie View High School and seems to have developed an inclination towards public service right at the start of his education.
After completing high school, he went on to pursue further education in Kansas State Universityand was elected as Student Body President in his final year shaping his leadership skills.
He joined the Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity. In 1978, he graduated with a degree in Agricultural Economics. For a year he worked in the entertainment industry as a weekly show host.
Immediately after his one year broadcasting stint, he turned towards the University of Kansas, School of Law, where he served as class President and graduated with a J.D in 1982.
Continue Reading Below
You May Like
On completion of his law degree, he began practicing as an attorney. He worked in Manhattan for a period of four years. In 1986, he was elected as ‘Kansas’ Secretary of Agriculture.
Under the George W. Bush Administration in 1990, he was accepted in the ‘White House Fellow’ program. For a year he was detailed to the ‘Office of the U.S Trade representative.
He returned back to his post of Kansas’ Secretary of Agriculture after the fellowship program was over.
It was in 1994, during the Republican Revolution, when he was elected to the United States House of representatives as member, where he represented Kansas’s 2nd congressional district for one term.
In 1996, when Bob Dole stepped down from his seat in the Senate, he ran for special election and won the seat, leaving behind Sheila Frahm in the race. He continued to win the following two elections, reserving his seat until 2011.
Brownback contemplated running for presidential election in 2008. However, before the primary elections begun he withdrew his name and went on to support Republican representative John McCain.
As Governor of Kansas
Brownback registered in 2009 for the seat of governor in the gubernatorial elections of 2010 and chose Jeff Colyer as his running mate. Winning the primary elections against fellow Republican Joan Heffington, he was all set to take on the general elections.
He won the elections over Democrat Tom Holland with 31 percent more votes, aiding him to receive a 63.3 % margin, which was double Holland’s votes.
The two main objectives highlighted by him were to remove income tax and aid in providing more finance and provisions for education. Though both have been envisioned for decades, his statements led to conflicts with 65% citizens rating his objectives as unachievable.
Continue Reading Below
On taking office, he signed three bills against abortion. The first was a bill that banned abortion after 21 weeks of pregnancy. The second bill suggested that if the patient is below 17 years, she can only abort after providing a notarized signature of either parent. And another bill inhibiting insurance companies to provide general health insurance for abortions unless it is necessary to save the mother’s life.
In 2011, Brownback attended Governor Rick Perry’s prayer event, he was the only other governor to attend the pray meet and was the only member to speak at the meet, which gave rise to controversy.
Following his campaigning of elimination of taxes. He went down in the history of Kansas as the first governor to sign the largest income tax cut in 2012. However, the Legislative research staff predicted that this cut could be the cause of a low budget in future.
Second Term as Governor
Brownback stood as the incumbent candidate for the 2014 general elections. He was challenged by Democrat, Paul Davis and was adamant to win once again.
Though he was majorly not supported by many Republicans themselves fearing more budget deficit for Kansas, he went on to win the primary elections against Jennifer Winn.
The battle between Paul and Brownback was close and difficult, but he managed to hold onto his position and scraped through the elections with 49.82 % votes over Paul’s close 46.13 % votes.
His objectives remained the same as his first campaign in 2010. A survey conducted ranked him as the 25th governor among the others to create job opportunities in his state.
He has laid more emphasis on health care during his second term. Opposing only a government health run system. He supports health insurance and is against denial of health insurance on the grounds of per-existing illness.
While he was a Senator, Brownback effectively advocated for the interest of his state. He was titled the most active Republican on the ‘Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee.
After taking over Bob Dole’s seat, he oversaw agencies that provided food safety and the Food and Drug Administration.
As the Governor of Kansas, he did take steps towards controlling government expenditure, lowering taxes and providing job vacancies as he had promised during campaigning.
Personal Life & Legacy
Sam Brownback fell in love with Mary Stauffer while studying law at the University of Kansas. Mary belonged to an affluent family, her father owned Stauffer Communications, until the company was sold in 1995.
After marriage Sam and Mary moved to their new home in Topeka. They have five children – three sons and two daughters.The eldest is Abby, followed by Andy, Liz, Mark and the youngest of the Brownback family is Jenna.
Brownbacks adopted two of their five children, and have assisted in financially establishing the ‘Building families Fund’.
Sam considers the year 1986 to be the turning point in his life, as he and Mary were blessed with their first child, Abby and the same year he became the youngest ever secretary to be appointed in the ‘State Board of Agriculture’.