Prosecutor. Small-Town Banker. Professor. Citizen Lawmaker.
Growing up in Plainville, Kansas instilled in Jerry Moran a tireless work ethic, strong Kansas values and real-life experiences that shaped him into the leader he is today. The son of hard-working Kansans, Jerry’s dad was a pump operator for Skelly Oil; his mom was the lady you paid your light bill to.
Life in Western Kansas shaped Jerry’s core beliefs: That your word is your bond. The importance of community. Never backing down from what you believe in. The value of a dollar. The honor of serving your fellow citizens.
After high school, Jerry started college close to home at Fort Hays State University — years later he would return as an adjunct professor. In 1974, he was selected to intern in the U.S. House of Representatives during the impeachment hearings for President Richard Nixon. Two years later, Jerry graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in economics.
He first started a career as a banker and worked his way through law school until achieving his Juris Doctor in 1981. It was during Jerry’s first job after law school that he met his future wife, Robba.
Jerry and Robba then returned to Western Kansas to start their family and new life together close to his boyhood home. In Hays, Jerry worked for a small-town law firm, as well as serving as a Special Assistant Attorney General and Deputy Rooks County Attorney.
In 1988, Jerry ran for public office for the first time, winning a seat in the Kansas Senate. As a part-time citizen lawmaker, Jerry commuted back and forth to Hays each week during legislative session.
After a few short years in the Kansas Senate, Jerry rose in leadership serving first as Vice President and then as Majority Leader. In 1996, Jerry felt he could serve his community and fellow Kansans better as their voice on Capitol Hill as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Jerry was elected to Congress in 1996 and re-elected six times. During his service, he established a consistent, conservative record and also developed a reputation for bucking his own party when they were wrong. He often remarked that, “I will always put Kansans ahead of the pressures in Washington.” Jerry was one of only 17 members of the House who opposed every bailout and stimulus package. He was one of the first Republicans to work to ban earmarks, and opposed No Child Left Behind and amnesty for illegal immigrants. When President Barack Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi passed legislation known as Obamacare, Jerry was the first member of the House to file legislation to completely repeal it.
Jerry’s resolve and determination to fight for those issues in Washington came from listening to Kansans. He made it a point to visit every single county in his sprawling Congressional district, one of the largest in the country, every year. It was from those conversations with Kansans that he was able to stay connected to the values and ideals we all hold dear.
Coming home to Kansas weekly allows Jerry to hear about our needs, concerns and values. Through his numerous meet-and-greets, stops at local businesses, and the more than 1,000 town hall meetings he has hosted in every corner of our state, he never stops listening.
Robba Moran was born and raised in Independence, Missouri, and attended Kansas City, Missouri, public schools. After graduating from Van Horn High School, she received a bachelor’s of science in business administration from William Jewell College, and a J.D. from Duke University. She practiced corporate real estate law in Kansas City at Stinson, Mag (now Stinson Leonard Street) where she met her husband, Jerry.
After they married and settled in Hays, she served as an assistant professor of business at Fort Hays State University for a few years until their daughters were born. Robba was a stay-at-home mom for 15 years, keeping the household going while Jerry was serving in Topeka and then in the nation’s capital. She has always been active in the community and state.
Robba served on the Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) from 2011-2015, and served two years as Chairman of the Board’s Academic Affairs Committee. She represented KBOR for two years on the Washburn Board of Regents, and served two years as the Regents’ representative on the Kansas State University Research Foundation Board. In 2013, Robba was elected Chairman of the Midwest Cancer Alliance Partners’ Advisory Board at the KU Cancer Center. She is a past member of the Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership, Inc. Board of Directors, and served as President of the Kansas State Fair Board of Directors from 2004-2006. While in Hays, Robba was active as a school volunteer, co-founded and chaired Kids Voting Hays, and was a member of the Hays Medical Center Board of Directors.
Her hobby has always been playing the piano, and she has been accompanying singers, choirs, churches and schools since age 12. She has accompanied in various capacities for Fort Hays State University, Kansas State University, and Hays U.S.D. 489, as well as the Kansas Choral Directors Association Women’s Honor Choir. Robba also enjoys playing keyboards in any orchestra pit for musical theater!
She is most proud of her two grown daughters, Kelsey and Alex.