Doug Keesling has indicated an interest in filling the open seat for District 113 in the Kansas House of Representatives.
When the Republican committee chairs meet next week to appoint someone to fill the remainder of Greg Lewis’ term in the 113th District of the Kansas House, Doug Keesling of Rice County is among those under consideration for the position.
At a visit to Pratt on March 5, Keesling said he put his name in for consideration partly because of his respect for Lewis.
This is Keesling’s second attempt at political office. Twenty years ago he ran for the 113th District against Jack Rimpe but lost in a close race.
Keesling, who has 30 years of experience in agriculture, lives with his family on a farm near Chase where he grows wheat, corn, soybeans, milo, raises cattle and sells seed.
He said that a key factor for growing Kansas is getting local young people to return to the area after they go to college. Getting better Internet and broadband service in the area will help that issue as well as help with economic development, Keesling said.
“It will help bring jobs to this area,” Keesling said.
There are new frontiers opening up in agriculture. By hiring the best talent for those jobs, it will help keep the students here and the money here, Keesling said.
High property taxes are also impacting job growth in Kansas. Some businesses can’t afford the to pay taxes in Kansas and that slows growth.
Keesling said he has a broad background in agriculture at the state, national and international levels and he is up to speed on the issues facing the industry. He is eager to get input from his constituents on their concerns and their solutions for problems facing Kansas.
“I can pull from their experiences,” Keesling said.
Part of the challenge facing Kansas is finding the balance between what rural America wants and what it needs to thrive. Also educating children without special interests stepping in, Keesling said.
Another reason Keesling decided to submit his name is to stand up for rights and ethics. There is serious social decay and Kansas needs people with Christian values, Keesling said.
While he is from Rice County, Keesling said he does a lot of business in Pratt County and is aware of issues affecting both counties. He sees the ongoing water rights issues as critical to the area.
In transportation, Keesling said it’s bad to take money from one pocket and put it in another. On U.S. 54 expansion, he wants to upgrade current roads rather than build super highways a few miles away. There are a lot of bridges and roads that also need attention.
In medicine, costs are prohibitive and theres only three health care provides that write policies in Kansas. Many struggle to pay medical bills and change is needed.
“It effects all of us,” Keesling said.
Keesling attended Kansas State University for botany and University of California in Los Angeles for motion picture media.
Keesling is married to T.J. who works at Cornerstone Daycare. They have two boys Chase and Colby and two girls Opal and Elsie.
Keesling owns Keesling Seed Farms and serves as manager of seed and chemical division, owns Output Management (organic manure cleanup and spreading services), owns Keesling Harvesting and co-owner in Millennium Healthcare (managed over 120 employees, oversaw payroll, worked to improve hospital relations.
Keesling has an extensive background in agriculture and is very active, serving on many committees including co-chair on President Trump’s agriculture advisory committee. Currently he is on the Kansas Wheat Commission, Wheat Genetics Resource Center board, Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture board, U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba, Kansas State University advisory board, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers, Rice County Republican Committee and First Baptist Church Mission Board and others.
Previously he also served on U.S. Wheat Association, Kansas State University Advisory Board, Kansas Crop Improvement Association, Monsanto, Rice County Farm Bureau and others.