Ronald Gene Estes (born July 19, 1956) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Kansas’s 4th congressional district since April 25, 2017. A member of the Republican Party, he previously served as the 39th Kansas State Treasurer from 2011 to 2017 under Governor Sam Brownback.
Early life, education, and career
Estes was born in Topeka, Kansas, and is a fifth-generation Kansan. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Tennessee Technological University.
Estes worked in consulting and management roles in the aerospace, oil and gas, automotive, and several other manufacturing and service industries, working for several companies including Procter & Gamble, Koch Industries, and Bombardier Learjet.
He was elected as treasurer of Sedgwick County, Kansas, home to Wichita, in 2004, and subsequently reelected in 2008. During his political career, he also served as the Treasurer for the Kansas County Treasurer’s Association, and in several posts in the Republican Party including Vice Chair of the Kansas Republican Party.
Kansas State Treasurer
Estes ran for Kansas State Treasurer in the 2010 election, against incumbent Democrat Dennis McKinney. Estes was the first statewide elected official from Wichita, Kansas in two decades. He was reelected in 2014, defeating Carmen Alldritt.
As state treasurer, Mr. Estes managed more than $24 billion in public money and he came in under budget by over $600,000. He made a priority telling Kansans about unclaimed money, such as funds from forgotten bank accounts. In 2016, Estes said his office had returned $100 million in unclaimed property since 2010.
During the 2016 U.S. presidential election, in February 2016, prior to the Kansas presidential caucuses, Estes endorsed Florida Senator Marco Rubio for the Republican nomination. Estes served in the Electoral College and cast his electoral vote for Donald Trump.
U.S. House of Representatives
2017 Special Election
Mike Pompeo, who represented Kansas’s 4th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives, resigned on January 23, 2017, to become Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. On February 9, Estes won the Republican nomination to run in the special election to determine Pompeo’s successor. Estes won with 66 of 126 votes in a special nominating convention held at Friends University.
Estes’ Democratic opponent in the special election was James Thompson, a Wichita lawyer and veteran. Estes’ special election candidacy was endorsed by many Republicans, including President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Senator Ted Cruz, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Governor Sam Brownback. He was endorsed by the editorial board of the local newspaper, The Wichita Eagle.
The National Republican Congressional Committee contributed $92,000, in part for “inflammatory and false” advertisements supporting Estes, which characterized his opponent as an advocate of taxpayer-funded, late-term abortions, and also as an advocate for gender selection abortion. According to April 10, 2017 fundraising reports, Estes had raised $459,000 to Thompson’s $292,000.
Estes won the special election on April 11, 2017 by a margin of 52.2% to 46%.
2018 Regular Election
In the 2018 election, the District’s Republican incumbent for Congress, Representative Ron Estes was challenged in the primaries by a candidate who shares a similar name, Ron M. Estes. This led to a conundrum as to how the candidates should be distinguished on the ballot, with Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach deciding that Ron G. Estes could include the prefix “Rep.” on the ballot according to Kansas law, although Ron M. Estes complained this to be unfair. The incumbent won with 81.4% of the vote.  In the general election, Estes defeated James Thompson in a rematch with 59.4% of the vote.
Rep. Estes was sworn into office on April 25, 2017.
In December 2017, Estes voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. In an op-ed for the Wichita Eagle, Estes said he is “confident it will make a real difference for families and businesses in Kansas.” He says it will provide economic and job growth, and that workers will see larger paychecks. He says that local companies, including Cessna and Spirit AeroSystems, will be able to “compete on a level playing field with international rivals,” as a result of the bill, and that more jobs will return to Kansas from overseas. He says the tax-filing process has been simplified, even though the process remains the same.
In July 2017, Estes received national attention for interrupting Rep. Kathleen Rice mid-sentence while she offered a question at a Homeland Security subcommittee hearing. Rice tweeted “Day in the life. Worth noting there are men from both parties who don’t act like this” and included a video of the exchange. Estes explained that he was simply trying to follow committee rules after Rice’s time was up.
- Committee on Ways and Means
Estes defines himself as “proudly pro-life” and he supports defunding Planned Parenthood. In the only election debate he attended, where he joined Democrat James Thompson, and the campaign manager for Libertarian candidate Chris Rockhold, he repeated the discredited claim that Planned Parenthood had been profiting by selling parts of aborted fetuses.
He supports a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution and a reduction in corporate and some personal income taxes.
Estes during the 2017 special election campaign stated that he believes that the American Health Care Act of 2017 did not go far enough to complete uproot and eliminate Obamacare, seeking a complete repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
Kansas State Treasurer
|Kansas Treasurer election, 2010|
|Democratic||Dennis McKinney (inc.)||341,324||41.4|
|Kansas Treasurer election, 2014|
|Republican||Ron Estes (inc.)||570,110||67.5|
2017 Congressional election
Republican caucus results
|Candidate||First Ballot||Pct.||Second Ballot||Pct.|
- “Estes living a charmed political life”. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
- “Kizzire picked as new Sedgwick County treasurer”. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
- “Meet Ron Estes”. Kansas State Treasurer Office of the Kansas State Treasurer and the people of Kansas. Topeka, Kansas. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
- Gruver, Deb (January 29, 2010). “County Treasurer Estes to run for same office at state level”. The Wichita Eagle. Wichita, Kansas. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
- Curry, Tom (April 12, 2017). “Estes a Stalwart but Unflashy Conservative”. Roll Call. Washington, DC. Retrieved April 16, 2017.
- Calovich, Annie; Lowry, Bryan (November 4, 2014). “Republican Selzer to be next Kansas insurance commissioner”. The Wichita Eagle. Wichita, Kansas. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
- Turkewitz, Julie (April 12, 2017). “Who Is Ron Estes, Kansas’ Newest Congressman?”. New York Times. New York City. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
- “Missouri and Kansas Electoral College voters pick Trump, despite protests”. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
- “Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS04) resignation letter read in House after Senate CIA Director confirmation”. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
- “Estes wins GOP nomination for Pompeo seat”. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
- Woodall, Hunter. Trump tweets support for Ron Estes on special election day in Kansas’ 4th District, Kansas City Star, April 11, 2017.
- Shorman, Jonathan. Bryan Lowry & Dion Lefler. , The Wichita Eagle, April 7, 2017.
- Weigel, Dave (April 10, 2017). “Republicans undertake unexpected rescue mission in deep red Kansas”. Washington Post. Washington, DC. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
- Lefler, Dion (April 8, 2017). “Anti-Thompson ad inflammatory and false, says professor who moderated debate”. Wichita Eagle. Wichita, Kansas. Retrieved April 16, 2017.
- Ron Estes, a Republican, Survives Tight House Race to Win Kansas Seat, New York Times, John Eligon & Jonathan Martin, April 11, 2017. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
- Fenwick, Cody (April 12, 2017). “Kansas Special Election: Republican Ron Estes Wins House Seat In Tight Race”. Patch. Wichita, Kansas. Retrieved April 16, 2017.
- Shorman, Jonathan (May 31, 2018). “Ron Estes is running against Ron Estes”. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
- “Kansas Primary Election Results: Fourth House District”. New York Times. September 24, 2018. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
- “Kansas House Results”. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
- Almukhtar, Sarah (December 19, 2017). “How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill”. The New York Times. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- Estes, Ron. “Rep. Ron Estes: Congress delivers on tax reform”. kansas. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- “House Dem jests: It’s ‘nice’ that not all male colleagues interrupt her”. July 29, 2017. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
- “Committees | U.S. Representative Ron Estes”. estes.house.gov. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
- “Members”. Congressional Western Caucus. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
- “Member List”. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
- According to Roll Call: On his campaign website, he said, “I am proudly pro-life, and as your congressman, I will lead the fight to protect the unborn. One of my top priorities will be to defund Planned Parenthood. American taxpayers should not be forced to fund organizations that perform abortions.”
- Congressional front-runners Estes, Thompson clash in first debate, Wichita Eagle, Dion Lefler & Daniel Salazar, March 23, 2017. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
- “Kansas Secretary of State 2010 Official Vote Totals” (PDF). Kansas Office of the Secretary of State.
- “Kansas Secretary of State 2014 Official Vote Totals” (PDF). Kansas Office of the Secretary of State.
- Hagen, Lisa (February 10, 2017). “Kansas treasurer wins GOP nomination to fill House seat”. TheHill. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
- “2017 Unofficial Kansas Election Results”. www.sos.ks.gov. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
- Congressman Ron Estes official U.S. House website
- Ron Estes for Congress campaign website
- Ron Estes at Curlie
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
- Appearances on C-SPAN
| Treasurer of Kansas
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kansas’s 4th congressional district
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States Representatives by seniority
|115th||Senate: P. Roberts • J. Moran||House: L. Jenkins • M. Pompeo (until Jan. 2017) • K. Yoder • R. Marshall • R. Estes (from Apr. 2017)|