Politics & Government

Kansas House majority whip to leave Legislature

The Republican whip of the state House of Representatives, who got his political start as a Wichita college student, is resigning his House seat on June 20.

Rep. Brian Weber, R-Dodge City, said he is leaving the House to concentrate on business and family matters and plans to move out of his district to Garden City, where his company has its head office.

“Between family, the business and political service, I couldn’t keep up,” Weber said. “Family is first for me, and the only part I could give up was the political part.”

The 30-year-old representative served this session as House majority whip, the No. 5 position in leadership in the dominant Republican caucus, and as chairman of the House Social Services Budget Committee. The whip is primarily responsible for holding the caucus together on key legislative votes.

He’s been a member of the Legislature since 2010, when he was appointed to fill a seat vacated when Pat George left the House to become secretary of commerce in the newly elected administration of Gov. Sam Brownback. Weber was elected to retain the seat in 2012.

Weber’s resignation will take effect at “sine die,” the legislative meeting that will mark the formal end of the 2013 session.

A new representative will be selected by the Republican precinct committee men and women in Weber’s district and appointed by the governor to fill his unexpired term through 2014. The House Republican caucus will select the new whip next year.

Weber is co-owner of Weber Heating and Air Conditioning, a company started by his parents. The company has 55 employees and offices in Garden City, Dodge City, Ulysses, Liberal and Guymon, Okla.

Weber was born in Garden City and moved to Dodge City as a child. He attended Newman University and said he became interested in politics while studying journalism.

In addition to student government, Weber was active in the Sedgwick County Young Republicans and interned for then-U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt.

“Wichita is really where I kind of jumped in (to politics) initially,” Weber said.

He returned to Dodge City after college, but also worked as a Senate assistant in 2010 when he was tapped for the open House seat.

Weber said although he’s stepping down from the Legislature and has no current political plans, he doesn’t rule out running for office again.

“I’m 30,” he said. “I imagine the time will come when I may revisit the public service.”