Bill Graves

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Bill Graves
Bill Graves.jpg
43rd Governor of Kansas
In office
January 9, 1995 – January 13, 2003
LieutenantSheila Frahm
Gary Sherrer
Preceded byJoan Finney
Succeeded byKathleen Sebelius
28th Secretary of State of Kansas
In office
January 12, 1987 – January 9, 1995
GovernorMike Hayden
Joan Finney
Preceded byJack Brier
Succeeded byRon Thornburgh
Personal details
William Preston Graves

(1953-01-09) January 9, 1953 (age 67)
Salina, Kansas, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Linda Richey
(m. 1990)
Children1 daughter
Alma materKansas Wesleyan University

William Preston Graves (born January 9, 1953) is a former American politician who was the 43rd Governor of Kansas from 1995 until 2003.


Graves was born in Salina, Kansas, in 1953 to parents who owned a trucking firm. After graduating from Kansas Wesleyan University with a business degree, he worked in human resources. In 1986, he was elected Kansas Secretary of State and in 1991, he was appointed as a representative of state governments to the Competitiveness Policy Council.

He defeated Democratic Congressman Jim Slattery in the Republican sweeping elections of 1994 at the age of 41, and became one of the youngest governors in Kansas history. A moderate Republican, Graves was known for his disputes with the conservative wing of the Kansas Republican Party. His term of office saw strong economic growth for Kansas after years of recession, and a continued emphasis on education. In 1997 Graves served as the Chairman of the Midwestern Governors Association.

He won re-election in 1998 with 74% of the vote, which was the largest margin of victory by any governor up for election in 1998, and one of the largest margins of victory in Kansas gubernatorial history. Graves was barred from running for a third term as governor by Kansas state law, and was succeeded by Democrat Kathleen Sebelius in January 2003. Serving with him as lieutenant governor were Sheila Frahm (1995–1996), whom he appointed to fill Bob Dole's seat in the Senate, and Gary Sherrer (1996–2003).

Following his tenure as governor, he has served as president of the American Trucking Associations.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Bill Graves married Linda Richey in 1990,[2] they have one daughter.


  1. ^ American Trucking Associations Archived January 2, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Adams, DiAnna. "The State of Kansas Governor Bill Graves: First Lady's Biography". Archived from the original on November 7, 2002.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Jack Brier
Secretary of State of Kansas
Succeeded by
Ron Thornburgh
Preceded by
Joan Finney
Governor of Kansas
Succeeded by
Kathleen Sebelius
Party political offices
Preceded by
Mike Hayden
Republican nominee for Governor of Kansas
1994, 1998
Succeeded by
Tim Shallenburger