Colonel William A. Phillips

Keith George Sebelius (September 10, 1916 – August 5, 1982) was an American politician who served in the United States House of Representatives as a Republican.

He became active in politics following World War II and was later appointed to the Kansas Senate after narrowly losing two Republican primaries for the House of Representatives. He later entered the House of Representatives where he served for a decade before his death from prostate cancer in 1982.

Early life

Keith George Sebelius was born on September 10, 1916, in Norton, Kansas to Carl Sebelius, who died when he was seven, and Minnie Sebelius. He grew up in Almena, Kansas and graduated from Almena High School. He attended Fort Hays State University, graduated in 1939, earned a law degree from George Washington University in 1942, and returned to Norton to practice law. [2][1]

During World War II he served in the United States Army and worked for intelligence agencies to detect German U-boats in the Caribbean.[3]

Career

Early politics

Following the end of World War II, he served as a councilor on the Almena city council, and also became mayor of the city.[4]

In 1947, he was elected as secretary of the Kansas Young Republicans Club and ran for president of the organization, but was defeated by Paul Lackie.[5][6] On April 26, 1953, he was selected as the Junior American Legion Commander for the 6th district in Kansas and later became the senior commander in 1954.[7][8] On September 5, 1955, he was elected as Commander of the Kansas legion by a vote of 494 to 422 against John K. Wells.[9] In 1957, he was elected as president of Norton's Chamber of Commerce.[10]

Kansas State Senate

On December 10, 1962, Sebelius was selected to replace state Senator William B. Ryan, who stepped down to become a district judge, and was appointed by Governor John Anderson Jr..[11][12] In 1963, he introduced a bill that would put the entirety of Kansas in the Central Time Zone, but it failed.[13]

During the 1964 elections he served as a delegate to the Republican district convention and he announced that he would seek reelection on April 1, 1964.[14][15] After facing no opposition in the Republican primary Sebelius defeated Democratic nominee Vance Templeton in the general election.[16]

House of Representatives

Elections

Sebelius twice ran unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives, losing both races by narrow margins. On January 8, 1958, he announced that he would run for the Republican nomination in Kansas' 6th Congressional District, but was narrowly defeated by incumbent Representative Wint Smith by 51 votes.[17][18] He ran again in 1960, but was defeated by county attorney Bob Dole by 982 votes.[19]

During the 1976 presidential election, Senator Bob Dole was selected as Ford's vice presidential running mate; had they won, it would have resulted in Dole's resignation from the Senate and a special election. It was speculated that Sebelius would be appointed to replace Dole.[20][21] However, Governor Jimmy Carter won the presidential election causing Dole to remain in the Senate.

Tenure

In 1968, Dole left office to run for Senate and was succeeded by Sebelius, who served until 1981. In June 1969, he served in place of House Minority Whip Leslie C. Arends due to his absence and assisted Minority Leader Gerald Ford for one week.[22] In May 1973, the National Federation of Independent Business named him Man of the Year for Kansas.[23]

On November 15, 1973, he stated that "I frankly believe the man is telling the truth" after hearing Richard Nixon speak about Watergate for over an hour.[24] On December 4, 1973, he voted in favor of House Minority Leader Gerald Ford's appointment as vice president after Spiro Agnew's resignation.[25] After the transcript of the Nixon White House tapes were released he stated that they "are depressing to read and give an unfavorable view of the President".[26] When asked what he thought of the possibility of Nixon refusing to comply with the Supreme Court's ruling in United States v. Nixon he stated that "it would be damn close to an impeachable offense".[27] He voted in favor of a resolution allowing for live radio and television coverage of the impeachment inquiry by the House Judiciary committee.[28] Following Nixon's resignation and Ford's accession to the presidency, Sebelius voted in favor of Nelson Rockefeller's appointment as vice president.[29]

On April 25, 1980, Sebelius announced that he would not seek reelection to the House of Representatives and was succeeded by Pat Roberts, his administration aide.[30]

Later life

On January 11, 1981, a banquet was held in his honor and received telegrams from former President Gerald Ford and President-elect Ronald Reagan. On this occasion the Norton reservoir was renamed to Keith Sebelius Lake in his honor and on January 16, he was named as a Distinguished Kansan of the Year.[31][32] In 1979, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and on August 5, 1982, he died in Norton County Hospital from it. He was buried in Norton, Kansas.[33]

Family

Sebelius married Elizabeth Adeline Roberts and had two children with her, R. Douglas Sebelius and K. Gary Sebelius, before his death in 1982.[1][34][35] In 1974 K. Gary Sebelius married Kathleen Sebelius, the daughter of former Ohio Governor John J. Gilligan, who would later serve as the governor of Kansas from 2003 to 2009.[36][37]

Political positions

Domestic

Sebelius introduced a constitutional amendment to legalize voluntary prayer in public buildings in 1971, but no action was taken on it.[38] In April 1971, Kansas held a voter referendum to lower the voting age, which he supported; he later voted in favor of the Twenty-sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution.[39][40] He criticized Nixon's decision to sell 10 million tons of United States grain to the Soviet Union at subsidized prices and later called for the resignation of Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz.[41]

When the House of Representatives voted on recognizing a holiday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., Sebelius was one of the forty-eight representatives who did not vote.[42]

Foreign

In October 1969, he asked for his name to be removed from a letter created by Representative Sam Steiger to President Richard Nixon asking Nixon to point out to the North Vietnamese that the United States would not rule out any military option in gaining peace with honor, as the wording of the letter promoted an escalation of the war.[43][44][45]

On July 18, 1973, he voted against the War Powers Resolution; after Nixon vetoed the bill Sebelius voted against the overriding of it on November 7, but the House and Senate voted to override Nixon's veto.[46][47] On July 31, 1973, Sebelius voted in favor of a bill that would decrease the United States' military presence overseas by 100,000 and create a cap of 400,000 troops, but it was defeated by a vote of 243 to 163.[48][49]

Electoral history

Keith Sebelius electoral history
1949 Young Republicans Chairman election[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Paul Lackie 167 67.34%
Republican Keith Sebelius 56 22.58%
Republican Charles D. Stough 25 10.08%
Total votes 248 100.00%
1958 Kansas 6th Congressional District Republican primary[18]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Wint Smith (incumbent) 12,039 44.95% -7.38%
Republican Keith Sebelius 11,988 44.76%
Republican Joel O. Gunnels 2,759 10.30%
Total votes 26,786 100.00%
1960 Kansas 6th Congressional District Republican primary[19]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Bob Dole 16,033 45.15%
Republican Keith Sebelius 15,051 42.39% -2.37%
Republican Phillip J. Doyle 4,423 12.46%
Total votes 35,507 100.00%
1964 Kansas 38th Senate District election[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Keith Sebelius (incumbent) 10,823 54.18%
Democratic Vance Templeton 9,152 45.82%
Total votes 19,975 100.00%
1968 Kansas 1st Congressional District Republican primary[50]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Keith Sebelius 29,400 48.32%
Republican Gerald Shadwick 24,304 39.95%
Republican W. H. Crotinger 7,139 11.73%
Total votes 60,843 100.00%
1968 Kansas 1st Congressional District election[51]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Keith Sebelius 87,012 51.45% -17.18%
Democratic George W. Meeker 82,102 48.55% +17.18%
Total votes 169,114 100.00%
1970 Kansas 1st Congressional District election[52]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Keith Sebelius (incumbent) 83,923 56.98% +5.41%
Democratic Billy D. Jellison 63,791 43.19% -5.41%
Total votes 147,714 100.00%
1972 Kansas 1st Congressional District election[53]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Keith Sebelius (incumbent) 145,712 77.24% +20.26%
Democratic Morris Coover 40,678 21.56% -21.46%
Prohibition Daniel Scoggin 2,267 1.20% +1.20%
Total votes 188,657 100.00%
1974 Kansas 1st Congressional District election[54]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Keith Sebelius (incumbent) 101,565 58.42% -18.82%
Democratic Donald C. Smith 57,326 32.97% +11.41%
American Thelma Morgan 13,009 7.48% +7.48%
Prohibition Lorin P. Miller 1,968 1.13% -0.07%
Total votes 173,868 100.00%
1976 Kansas 1st Congressional District election[55]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Keith Sebelius 142,311 73.07% +14.65%
Democratic Randy C. Yowell 52,459 26.93% -6.04%
Total votes 194,770 100.00%
1978 Kansas 1st Congressional District election[56]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Keith Sebelius 131,037 100.00% +26.93%
Total votes 131,037 100.00%

References

  1. ^ a b c "Keith George Sebelius - Kansapedia - Kansas Historical Society". www.kshs.org. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  2. ^ "Congressman Keith Sebelius Dies of Cancer at Age 65". The Belleville Telescope. September 9, 1982. p. 15. Archived from the original on February 4, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ "Sebelius swap spotlight for backstage role". The Salina Journal. June 8, 1980. p. 47. Archived from the original on February 7, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ "Keith Sebelius, 65, former congressman". Fort Lauderdale News. September 6, 1982. p. 7. Archived from the original on February 4, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ a b "Young G.O.P." The Manhattan Mercury. December 7, 1947. p. 3. Archived from the original on February 4, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ "Lackie Chairman Of Young GOP". The Iola Register. December 5, 1949. p. 3. Archived from the original on February 4, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ "Junior American Legion Commander". The Belleville Telescope. April 30, 1953. p. 1. Archived from the original on February 4, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ "Area Legion Heads Picked". The Salina Journal. April 28, 1954. p. 11. Archived from the original on February 4, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  9. ^ "Norton Lawyer To State Legion Helm". The Atchison Daily Globe. September 6, 1955. p. 1. Archived from the original on February 4, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  10. ^ "Sebelius Heads Norton C. of C." The Salina Journal. December 11, 1957. p. 13. Archived from the original on February 4, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  11. ^ "Sebelius Nominated To Be State Senator". The Hays Daily News. December 11, 1962. p. 4. Archived from the original on February 4, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  12. ^ "Three New State Senators Named". Council Grove Republican. December 20, 1962. p. 1. Archived from the original on February 4, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  13. ^ "One for Terms". The Parsons Sun. January 24, 1963. p. 2. Archived from the original on February 4, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  14. ^ "Norton's Delegates". The Salina Journal. March 11, 1964. p. 34. Archived from the original on February 4, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  15. ^ "Keith Sebelius To Seek Re-Election". The Hays Daily News. April 1, 1964. p. 1. Archived from the original on February 4, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  16. ^ a b "38th District". The Salina Journal. November 5, 1964. p. 11. Archived from the original on February 5, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  17. ^ "Sebelius Files For Congress". The Salina Journal. January 9, 1958. p. 1. Archived from the original on February 4, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  18. ^ a b "KS District 6 - 1958 R Primary". The Emporia Gazette. August 21, 1958. p. 9. Archived from the original on May 31, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  19. ^ a b "KS District 6 - 1960 R Primary". Garden City Telegram. August 22, 1960. p. 7. Archived from the original on May 31, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  20. ^ "FORD PICKS SENATOR DOLE AS RUNNING MATE; SAYS HE WANTS DEBATE. AND CARTER AGREES". August 20, 1976.
  21. ^ "Sebelius expresses interest in Senate". Great Bend Tribune. September 7, 1976. p. 3. Archived from the original on February 7, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  22. ^ "Sebelius Gets Temporary Post". The Salina Journal. June 26, 1969. p. 16. Archived from the original on February 5, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  23. ^ "Sebelius is named 'Man of Year'". Great Bend Tribune. May 14, 1973. p. 12. Archived from the original on February 6, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  24. ^ "President Backed". The Kansas City Times. November 16, 1973. p. 8. Archived from the original on February 16, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  25. ^ "TO PASS H. RES. 735, CONFIRMING THE NOMINATION OF GERALD R. FORD TO BE VICE-PRESIDENT". December 6, 1973. Archived from the original on October 26, 2019.
  26. ^ "Transcripts reveal a callous Nixon". The Salina Journal. May 20, 1974. p. 2. Archived from the original on February 6, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  27. ^ "Dole Says It Might Be An Impeachable Offense". Garden City Telegram. June 3, 1974. p. 4. Archived from the original on February 6, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  28. ^ "Recent votes by Kansans in Congress". The Salina Journal. July 30, 1974. p. 13. Archived from the original on February 6, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  29. ^ "TO AGREE TO H. RES. 1511, CONFIRMING NELSON A. ROCKEFELLER AS VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES". December 19, 1974. Archived from the original on April 3, 2019.
  30. ^ ""Time to come home," Keith Sebelius decides". The Salina Journal. April 27, 1980. p. 2. Archived from the original on February 7, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  31. ^ "Sebelius honored at Norton banquet". The Salina Journal. January 13, 1981. p. 7. Archived from the original on February 7, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  32. ^ "Kansan of the Year Named". The Parsons Sun. January 17, 1981. p. 3. Archived from the original on February 7, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  33. ^ "Sebelius, Congressman for 12 years, dies". The Parsons Sun. September 6, 1982. p. 12. Archived from the original on February 4, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  34. ^ "Gary Sebelius Kansaspedia".
  35. ^ "FORMER HHS SECRETARY KATHLEEN SEBELIUS LAUNCHES 2015-2016 SEBELIUS LECTURE SERIES".
  36. ^ "Sebelius's son engaged". The Manhattan Mercury. December 9, 1974. p. 8. Archived from the original on February 10, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  37. ^ "Kathleen Sebelius (2003-2009)". Kansas State Library. Retrieved February 11, 2020.
  38. ^ "Public Prayer". Burr Oak Herald. February 11, 1971. p. 1. Archived from the original on February 6, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  39. ^ "Favors Lower Voting Age". Garden City Telegram. February 27, 1971. p. 21. Archived from the original on February 6, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  40. ^ "House of Representatives Vote On 26th Amendment". voteview.com. UCLA Department of Political Science. March 23, 1971. Archived from the original on January 20, 2020.
  41. ^ "Not all approved of wheat action". The Daily Capital News. October 8, 1974. p. 3. Archived from the original on February 7, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  42. ^ "Martin Luther King Jr. Day 1979 House Vote" (PDF). Congressional Record. November 13, 1979. p. 32175.
  43. ^ "Doesn't Seek Escalation Of War, Sebelius Says". The Salina Journal. October 16, 1969. p. 1. Archived from the original on February 5, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  44. ^ "Rep. Steiger Urges Major Escalation Of War To Win". Palladium-Item. October 15, 1969. p. 2. Archived from the original on February 17, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  45. ^ "Keith's Mistake". The Salina Journal. October 17, 1969. p. 4. Archived from the original on February 17, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  46. ^ "Kansas vote". The Iola Register. November 8, 1973. p. 1. Archived from the original on February 6, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  47. ^ "House of Representatives Vote On War Powers Act". voteview.com. UCLA Department of Political Science. July 18, 1973.
  48. ^ "House of Representatives Vote On O'Neill Amendment". voteview.com. UCLA Department of Political Science. July 31, 1973.
  49. ^ "Roll Call". The Kansas City Times. August 1, 1973. p. 5. Archived from the original on February 6, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  50. ^ "KS District 1 - 1968 R Primary". Great Bend Tribune. August 23, 1968. p. 1. Archived from the original on May 31, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  51. ^ "KS District 1 - 1968 Election". The Kansas City Times. November 28, 1968. p. 52. Archived from the original on May 31, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  52. ^ "KS District 1 - 1970 Election". Garden City Telegram. November 25, 1970. p. 11. Archived from the original on May 31, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  53. ^ "KS District 1 - 1972 Election". The Atchison Daily Globe. November 29, 1972. p. 9. Archived from the original on May 31, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  54. ^ "KS District 1 - 1974 Election". The Manhattan Mercury. November 26, 1974. p. 16. Archived from the original on May 31, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  55. ^ "KS District 1 - 1976 Election". The Manhattan Mercury. November 25, 1976. p. 7. Archived from the original on May 31, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  56. ^ "KS District 1 - 1978 Election". The Parsons Sun. November 29, 1978. p. 10. Archived from the original on May 31, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Bob Dole
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kansas's 1st congressional district

1969–1981
Succeeded by
Pat Roberts