Republican leaders from the Derby and Mulvane area on Thursday night selected Jesse Burris as a state representative to replace his father-in law, Pete DeGraaf, in the Kansas Legislature.
Burris, a lawyer who worked for Secretary of State Kris Kobach until this week, was the only nominee for the position representing the 82nd House District.
He was selected unanimously by the eight precinct committee members who attended Thursday’s meeting at the Derby Public Library.
Following in DeGraaf’s footsteps, Burris laid out a strongly conservative agenda for his upcoming service in the House.
“Government should be limited,” he said. “I’ll oppose any effort to increase the size and scope of government.”
He also said he opposes all tax increases, abortion and same-sex marriage.
He supports school choice and gun rights.
In a speech passing the torch, DeGraaf asked that Republicans support Burris “in the cultural battle he’s going to be waging on your behalf.”
DeGraaf, who served for nine years, has Parkinson’s disease and said he couldn’t continue as a representative because of the stress it puts on his health.
Burris is a veteran who served as a firefighter in the Air Force.
He is a graduate of Washburn Law School and has worked as a lawyer in private practice and with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
He said he resigned his job with the secretary of state’s office on Wednesday in anticipation of his appointment as a legislator. In that job, he primarily dealt with business services.
Burris is married to DeGraaf’s daughter Anneke, and the couple has a 16-month-old daughter, Elinor.