RUNNING TO RESTORE JOBS, KEEP PEOPLE SAFE & HEALTHY

Melissa Gregory is campaigning for Kansas State Senate District 30 in Wichita. Her life is a testament to the value of strong public schools and hard work. Raised in a middle-class Wichita family with solid Methodist values, a dedicated public servant she spent her career improving the lives of her fellow Kansans.

Melissa will fight to make us as safe as possible from the ongoing pandemic while working to restore the jobs lost to it. She supports getting our schools open as soon as it is safe for students, teachers, and staff. And she will work to cover pre-existing conditions and expand Medicaid to bolster our healthcare system and give our underserved and their children a chance for better and healthier lives.

WORKING FOR KANSANS 
Dan and Melissa

Melissa began working for Kansas Congressman Dan Glickman, primarily in constituent services, helping people with Social Security and other important issues. In the Congressional office she rose to District Director and the Congressman’s Chief of Staff, establishing a reputation as a competent and compassionate servant of the people. When the Congressman left elected office and became the United States Secretary of Agriculture, she joined his office in Washington as a key assistant to the incoming Secretary of Agriculture.

She returned to Kansas, joining the Wichita office of the Kansas Insurance Department under Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Sebelius.  Melissa served Kansans by running the Department’s Wichita office and as Director of Senior Health Insurance Counseling of Kansas. When Sebelius became governor, Melissa worked as the Director of Appointments to recruit and vet the best candidates to serve on Kansas’ professional boards and commissions. 

Melissa worked for two governors in this capacity serving Kansans. She was also asked to help current Kansas Governor Laura Kelly on the governor’s transition team.

In addition to her professional career, Melissa has volunteered and supported a number of non-profit organizations. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Envision Foundation, helping individuals with vision issues; the Board of Directors for Kansas School for Effective Learning, aiding undereducated individuals obtain better education credentials to get better jobs; and as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Wichita Sedgwick County Historical Museum.  

FOCUS ON EDUCATION

Melissa is a product of Wichita public schools. She went to Woodland Elementary, John Marshall Intermediate and graduated from North High School. She began her undergraduate work at Southwestern College. 

Grandma and Grandpa Johnson Standard Oil Station Wichita KS, circa 1940s

Melissa met and married her son’s father while they both attended Southwestern and moved to Oklahoma briefly to raise their son, while her husband worked in the oil patch. When the marriage didn’t work out, she moved back to Wichita as a single mom and spent years working at various jobs, raising her son, attending Wichita State University, and surviving a bout of thyroid cancer. 

Nineteen years after graduating from high school, working full time, and attending college part time, she finally got her degree from Wichita State. However, like many others, she graduated saddled with student debt that loomed over her for years. Melissa credits the urban college atmosphere at WSU for helping her obtain a degree by offering academic excellence and a setting where students can work while attending school part time. All this time, she was active in numerous volunteer efforts aimed at improving the community she lived in.  

Melissa’s mom (C) with her family

Melissa’s parents instilled the importance of a good education and the value of military service in her from a young age. Her dad’s family moved to Wichita when the family farm in western Kansas failed during the Dust Bowl. He worked in the family business, a Standard Oil gas station at the corner of Harry and Hydraulic. Her mom and dad married and then WWII intervened. Her dad served overseas in the Army Air Forces. When her dad returned, he worked at the phone company, and her mom was a secretary for USD 259, jobs they both would stay at through retirement. 

Melissa and her younger brother Bill were born in Wichita. Bill is an Air Force Vietnam War veteran and he worked in civil service at McConnell Air Force Base. 

Melissa has been married for 30 years to Jim, whose career includes working at Boeing, Learjet, and Beechcraft. He now owns and operates a small aviation business. He is an Army veteran of the Vietnam War. Melissa is enormously proud of her son who is a schoolteacher.

MELISSA WANTS TO HEAR FROM YOU 

Now more than ever we need elected officials who are going to listen to the needs of and stand up for Kansans. Melissa looks forward to hearing from you about your concerns and suggestions as we navigate these new and unprecedented times. Contact her at melissaforkansas@gmail.com.