In a political landscape where candidates range from far right to far left, Ken White hopes to represent the center, the heartland whose values he shares. Raised in Kentucky, Ken often spent weekends at his grandparents’ tobacco farm. He learned to play bluegrass music, winning the state banjo championship at age 14. After Ken’s formal education in Kentucky he moved to Nashville to embark on a career in music, recording, performing, and touring with many bluegrass luminaries, including Vassar Clements, New Tradition and The Nashville Bluegrass Band.
After many appearances at the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival, Ken was drawn to South Central Kansas for its community warmth and hometown values. As a single dad, he wanted to raise his son in a place where people looked out for each other, and so in 1995 he made Kansas his home. He worked as a web developer while continuing to play music on the side, in regional groups such as Big Twang, Nouveau Quintette, Sycamore Swing, and Music Theater Wichita. In 2002, he founded the marketing firm Howerton+White in downtown Wichita, and in 2004 he moved to Belle Plaine where he and his wife, Robin Macy, are stewards of the 110-year-old Bartlett Arboretum, a regional treasure listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Ken serves on the board of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra and is the Board President of the Wichita Jazz Festival for the past four years. He continues his work at Howerton+White, is a graduate of Leadership Wichita, and is an avid arts patron. He has written arrangements for and performed with the Louisville Mandolin Orchestra, the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble, and Symphony in the Flint Hills’ Woodfest, and the Wichita Symphony Orchestra.
As a small business owner, and steward of the Bartlett Arboretum, he’s learned invaluable lessons about the importance of hard work and cooperation. He’s learned that every employee represents a family and that every decision a leader makes carries responsibility for more than himself. These insights have guided him toward a deeper involvement in community service and commitment to the greater good. He hopes to represent the interests of small businesses and rural Kansans of District 79 in the Kansas State House of Representatives.
Of all the values embodied in the small town life he has embraced, none is more important to Ken White than the idea that people matter more than politics. He holds this as a first principle, and will bring his experience, expertise, and energy to the legislature for the benefit of his constituents and the betterment of our good life here in District 79.