WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW & AP) — The Kansas House speaker’s office says conservative Republican state Rep. Ron Howard of Wichita has died. He was 67.
The speaker’s office and fellow legislators said Howard died Tuesday from a lengthy illness.
Howard missed most of the GOP-controlled Legislature’s annual session this year but returned to Topeka in early May to help Republicans override Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto of income tax cuts. Supporters had just enough votes for the necessary two-thirds majority in the House.
Howard was a former employee of aircraft manufacturer Boeing when he began serving in the House in January 2019 after unseating a Democratic incumbent in 2018.
Gov. Laura Kelly has directed flags be lowered to half-staff on all state buildings, grounds, and facilities effective immediately until the day of interment, in honor of Rep. Howard.
“My thoughts are with Rep. Ron Howard’s wife, Terri, and all of his friends and family during this difficult time,” Governor Kelly said. “A former Boeing worker and lawn care service owner, Rep. Howard shared a proud, hardworking background with many in his South Wichita and Haysville district. Despite facing difficult health challenges, Rep. Howard’s perseverance demonstrated his strong dedication to those he served.”