It’s been 33 years since an Ellinwood resident was a member of the Kansas House of Representatives. On Monday, J. Basil Dannebohm took the oath of office as the third Ellinwood resident to serve in the Kansas Legislature.
Several Ellinwood residents were in attendance at the ceremony including Ellinwood High School students Emily Fox, Bailey Baird, Liz Standlee, and Sierra Weatherman.
“The oath of office ceremony is an integral aspect of our system of governance. It is the covenant that ensures our leaders fulfill their positional responsibilities,” said Ben Jacobs, Superintendent of USD 355. “The opportunity for students from Ellinwood High School to attend this educational, tradition-laden event is welcomed and greatly anticipated. This experience will enhance student knowledge of procedural action in the legislature and nurture a reflective mindset of civic responsibility.”
During their visit, the students had the opportunity to meet several dignitaries including First Lady Mary Brownback, Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer, Attorney General Derek Schmidt, Secretary of State Kris Kobach, and Mary Eisenhower, grandaughter of President Dwight Eisenhower. Ellinwood City Administrator Robert Peter was unable to attend the ceremony but congratulated Dannebohm by phone.
Richard Doll, an Ellinwood resident and business owner, expressed his confidence in Dannebohm’s leadership.
“Basil has been a real energizer for our community and it’s exciting to see someone from our small town in this position and representing in this capacity,” said Doll. “I appreciate a person who is willing to go above and beyond, and also take a few risks, while maintaining his conservative values. Basil is that individual. He has worked hard and has gained respect of those around him.”
Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach echoed Doll’s sentiments.
“Basil is a hard-working legislator who truly represents the values of Kansas,” said Kobach. “I am happy that my friends in Ellinwood are being represented by such a top-notch legislator.”
Representative J. Basil Dannebohm is a sixth generation Kansan. Over the course of his professional career as a writer, speaker and consultant, he has worked with an international clientele, including the software industry, real estate, radio, television, newspapers, magazines, religious and non-profit organizations, film festivals, tourism and entertainment venues. In the summer of 2012, Dannebohm was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease. Since that time, he has been an advocate for Parkinson’s Disease research, treatment and awareness. In 2014, Governor Sam Brownback appointed Dannebohm to serve on the board of the Kansas Commission on Disability Concerns as well as the Central Kansas Library System.
“I am honored to serve the 113th District in the Kansas House,” said Dannebohm. “I’ve been humbled by the outpouring of kindness from constituents as I visit each community in the district. Our voice is important. The issues matter to us. I will do my very best to represent the best interests of our area as we begin this critical work.”
A strong supporter of rural healthcare, education, economic development, oil and agriculture related issues, Rep. Dannebohm is widely considered a reasonable individual known for his straight forward, often innovative approach. He serves on the House Commerce Committee, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, and the House Vision 2020 Committee.
“Rep. Dannebohm will represent his district’s conservative principles with both passion and expertise. I’m looking forward to working with him on important issues for Kansas,” said Rep. Kristey Williams (R-Augusta), a friend and colleague of Dannebohm.
The Kansas House of Representatives, District 113 includes Pratt and Stafford Counties, as well as portions of Barton, Pawnee, and Rice Counties.