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Bill Graves

Gov. Bill Graves

  • January 9, 1995 - January 13, 2003
  • Republican
  • January 9, 1953
  • Kansas
  • Kansas Wesleyan; University of Kansas
  • Married Linda Richey; one child


BILL GRAVES was the 43rd governor of Kansas. The governor was reelected to his second term with the largest percentage of votes of any governor in the nation, and the largest percentage of votes in Kansas history. He was the first Republican governor reelected in Kansas since 1962, and the state’s longest serving Republican governor. Governor Graves is a native of Salina, Kansas, where he grew up involved in the family business, Graves Truck Line. He earned a degree in business administration from Kansas Wesleyan and attended graduate school at the University of Kansas. Prior to his election as governor, he served two terms as Kansas Secretary of State. In 1991 the International Association of Corporation Administrators recognized the office of the secretary of state, under his leadership, for its outstanding service to the businesses it served. Under his administration, Kansas taxpayers saw the largest tax cut in state history, and many state services were streamlined and privatized. In 1999 he signed a historic 10-year, $13-billion comprehensive transportation program into law improving highways, railroad infrastructure, airports, and public transit service in Kansas. He signed legislation restructuring the governance of higher education and supported the closing of large state hospitals in favor of community based services. Governor Graves initiated sweeping campaign finance reforms that prohibit elected officials from accepting campaign contributions during the legislative sessions and ethics reforms that prohibit state employees from accepting gifts.

Recent Kansas Governors