Tom Sawyer (Kansas politician)

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Tom Sawyer
Member of the Kansas House of Representatives
from the 95th district
Assumed office
January 2013
Preceded by Benny Boman
In office
January 2003 – September 2009
Preceded by Melany Barnes
Succeeded by Melany Barnes
In office
January 1987 – January 1999
Preceded by Homer Jarchow
Personal details
Born (1958-04-15) April 15, 1958 (age 59)
Wichita, Kansas, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Wichita State University
Religion Methodist

Tom Sawyer (born April 15, 1958) is a Democratic member of the Kansas House of Representatives, currently representing the 95th district. Sawyer previously represented the 95th district in the Kansas House of Representatives from 1987 to 1999 and from 2003 to 2008.

Born in Wichita, Kansas, Sawyer graduated from Wichita State University with a BBA in Accounting in 1984. Sawyer was first elected to the Kansas House of Representatives in 1987. He became the party's House Leader, and through his 12-year legislative career served as both Majority Leader and Minority Leader. He is only the fourth Democrat to ever be elected Majority Leader of the Kansas House and the only Wichitan to hold that position in the last 30 years.

In 1998 Sawyer won his party's nomination as candidate for governor, easily beating his next closest rival, the evangelical preacher Fred Phelps. In the general election, Sawyer lost and only managed to win 23% of the popular vote against popular incumbent Republican governor Bill Graves.

After serving as State Chairman of the Kansas Democratic Party for four years, Sawyer was once again elected to the state legislature in 2002, and was re-elected in 2004, 2006 and 2008. He served as chair of the Sedgwick County Legislative Delegation in 2005.[1]

He resigned from the Kansas House of Representatives in 2009 to serve on the state Parole Board.

In the 2012 Kansas House of Representatives election, Sawyer defeated Republican incumbent Benny Boman, returning him to his position as the representative for the 95th district.

Kansas House Career[edit]

Committee membership[edit]

  • Appropriations
  • General Government Budget
  • Elections (Ranking Member)
  • Rules and Journal (Vice-Chair)
  • Joint Committee on Legislative Post Audit
  • Joint Committee on State-Tribal Relations
  • Taxation (Ranking Member)
  • Kansas Sentencing Commission

Major donors[edit]

The top 5 donors to Sawyer's 2008 campaign:[2]

  • 1. Kansans for Lifesaving Cures $1,000
  • 2. Kansas National Education Assoc $1,000
  • 3. Kansas Contractors Assoc $1,000
  • 4. Koch Industries $900
  • 5. Wal-Mart $800


  1. ^ Rep. Tom Sawyer Biography Retrieved June 30, 2009.
  2. ^ Follow the Money - 2008 Campaign Contributions Retrieved June 30, 2009.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Jim Slattery
Democratic nominee for Governor of Kansas
Succeeded by
Kathleen Sebelius