After a decade in the Kansas Legislature, 51st District State Rep. Ron Highland is retiring.
The 75-year-old Republican from Wamego stood on the House floor Monday to formally announce his intent, with his wife Linda of 53 years, by his side.
“She’s always been my encouragement and my support throughout our marriage, especially these last nine plus years. It will be 10. I will serve out my full term to the best of my ability,” he said.
Highland was, at times, notably flustered when talking about the experience serving the district.
“It’s been a humiliating… Not humiliating. A very humbling experience to realize that the majority from your district have voted you into office. They trust you, support you and expect you to do what’s right for the district and the state of Kansas,” he said.
Taking office in 2013, Highland said it took some time to adjust to the workload that legislators deal with each session.
“We all remember what the first year was like. It felt like a dump truck dumped all the paper in your office and you were expected to memorize and learn all of that in two weeks. All of us have been asked this in forums, what’s the best part of serving? For me personally it’s the opportunity to meet so many people you would have never met in your life and become friends with them. Lifelong friends,” he said.
Highland thanked leadership for their friendship and support.
“You learn so much in so many different areas. It’s a great experience. I’m not going to say goodbye, I’m just going to say until we meet again.. Thank you all,” he said.
Highland was a recent inductee into the U.S. Army Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame and is a decorated Vietnam veteran.
The 51st district encompasses the Highway 24 corridor from Wamego to eastern Manhattan and Wabaunsee County.