State Treasurer Ron Estes has a history of engineering conservative change. He is a proven Kansas leader who has dedicated his life to bold innovations in efficiency, reform, and problem solving in both the private and public sector. After graduating with a degree in civil engineering and a graduate degree in business administration from Tennessee Technological University, Ron went to work in the manufacturing industry, where his analytical abilities led to dramatic improvements in the business processes he supervised. By applying his skills to similar projects in the aerospace, oil & gas, and information systems industries, he developed strategies that led to cost savings and streamlined production.
Ron and his wife Susan have always made GOP activism a priority. Among his many grassroots leadership roles Ron has served as Assistant Treasurer of the Young Republican National Federation and as vice-chair of the Kansas Republican Party. His involvement at the state and local levels has reinforced his certainty that government needs to have a “grassroots up” versus “establishment down” approach.
In 2004 Ron decided it was time for conservative change in the Sedgwick County Treasurer’s Office. He was elected Sedgwick County Treasurer in 2004 and 2008 and during the six years he served in that position, implemented efficiencies that returned over $1.5 million to the taxpayers.
In 2010 Ron was elected Kansas State Treasurer, defeating an incumbent appointee of Kathleen Sebelius by 17 points. When elected he became the first statewide public official from the 4th district in over 15 years. When he was reelected in 2014, he earned more votes with the highest percentage of the vote than any other statewide race that cycle.
As State Treasurer, he oversees more than $24 billion in public funds. Ron has continued his track record of finding efficiencies by coming in under budget by over $600,000 during his time in office. Key programs in the treasurer’s office include Bond Services, Cash Management Unclaimed Property, and the Kansas 529 Education Savings Program. Ron also serves on the Pooled Money Investment Board, which manages the investment of the state’s idle funds.
During his tenure, Ron has visited all 105 Kansas counties and returned over $113,000,000 in unclaimed property to rightful owners. In 2015, he worked with state and federal officials to implement the Kansas ABLE savings program, creating tax-free savings accounts for people with disabilities. He also spearheaded legislation that improved the ability to match people with their unclaimed property through tax data. Another reform initiative changed law to require that unclaimed tax refund checks become unclaimed property so they can be matched with owners instead of remaining with the government. Ron also identified creative ways to increase the visibility of the Learning Quest college savings program, such as sending Learning Quest information along with newly issued birth certificates.
Born in Topeka, Ron is a fifth generation Kansan. While serving as State Treasurer, he, Susan, and their three children continue to live in their Wichita home. Ron stays at his family’s farm in Osage County, close to Topeka, during the week and returns home to Wichita on the weekends. While Ron has spent his life engineering conservative change, one thing that hasn’t changed is his devotion to his family, the state of Kansas, and the 4th district.