|Governor of Kansas|
|January 10, 2011 - Present|
|Years in position||3|
|United States Senator|
|November 5, 1996- January 3, 2011|
|J.D.||University of Kansas Law School (1982)|
|Birthday||September 12, 1956|
|Place of birth||Parker, Kansas|
Sam Brownback is a fourth generation Kansas. Born is Garnett, he grw up on a farm in Linn County where his parents still live. He was elected student body president as an undergraduate and then president of his law school class by his fellow students. At Kansas State, he also joined the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity.
After college, Sam spent a year in broadcasting, hosting a weekly show. After law school. he practiced in Manhattan, Kansas for four years before being elected as Kansas' Secretary of Agriculture in 1986.
He first went to Washington as a White House Fellow under the George H.W. Bush Administration. From 1990-1991, he was detailed to the office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Upon completion of his fellowship, Brownback returned to Kansas and resumed his secretarial office.
He entered Congress as the Representative for Kansas' 2nd District in 1994 and, in 1996, moved to Senate in a special election for Bob Dole's seat. He currently serves as the ranking Republican on the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee and also sits on the Homeland Security Subcommittee, the Appropriations Committee, the Judiciary Committee, the Joint Economic Committee, and the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, more casually known as the Helsinki Commission.
Sam and Mary Brownback live in Topeka with their five children; Abby, Andy, Liz, Mark and Jenna. Two of their children are adopted. Raised as a Methodist, Brownback first converted to evangelical Protestantism and then, in 2002, to Catholicism. He still regularly attends a non-denominational church.
- University of Kansas Law School, J.D., 1982
- Kansas State University
In November 2011, 18-year old high school senior Emma Sullivan attended a Kansas Youth in Government event in Topeka, which featured Brownback. During the event, Sullivan posted a tweet that said, "Just made mean comments at gov brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot." The governor's office notified event organizers about the tweet, who notified Sullivan's school. According to Sullivan, the principal ordered her to write apology letters to Brownback, the Youth in Government sponsor and others.
The issue received national attention, eventually resulting in an apology from Brownback to Sullivan. He released a statement, saying, "My staff over-reacted to this tweet, and for that I apologize. Freedom of speech is among our most treasured freedoms. I enjoyed speaking to the more than 100 students who participated in the Youth in Government Program at the Kansas Capitol. They are our future. I also want to thank the thousands of Kansas educators who remind us daily of our liberties, as well as the values of civility and decorum. Again, I apologize for our over-reaction."
Gov. Sam Brownback signed a law in April 2011 requiring voters to produce a photo ID before casting a ballot instead of the previous protocol of producing a signature to verify identification at the polls, starting January 1, 2013.
“This is a modest, prudent measure. You show photo ID to cash a check, you show one to get on a plane, it’s something people are used to doing,” Brownback said. “It’s a modest and important measure to ensure the sanctity of the vote.”
Governor Elect Sam Brownback's acceptance speech
Brownback defeated Joan Heffington in the August 3 primary, winning with 82% of the vote.
Oct. 7, 2010 debate
In the gubernatorial debate on October 7, 2010 on KWCH all four candidates for Kansas governor said they’re against the statewide smoking ban and the hypocrisy of exempting the state-owned casinos from the ban.
- I think they need to be left to local units of government as well, but I’ll tell you something else that we ought to do, that’s to put the ban on the state-owned facilities. That’s where the ban ought to be on in the first place, is the state should lead by example and not exempting itself by something like this. That smoking ban ought to be on the state facilities and leave the other issues to the local control. That’s the best way a state can lead, doing this to itself and leading by example rather than putting it on somebody else, a burden somewhere else.
- Project Vote Smart biographical profile
- Talking Points Memo, "Brownback Complaint About Student Tweet Lands Kansas Teenager In Principal’s Office," November 25, 2011
- Huffington Post, "Emma Sullivan Receives Apology From Sam Brownback For 'Overreaction' To Tweet," November 28, 2011
- "Brownback signs voter ID into Kansas law," Kansas Reporter, April 18, 2011
- Reuters, "Kansas conservative governor Brownback endorses Perry," September 22, 2011
- "Brownback: “A clean sweep for a new beginning,"" Kansas Watchdog, November 3, 2010
- "Governor Candidates Against Statewide Smoking Ban, Casino Hypocrisy," Kansas Watchdog, October 7, 2010