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Brandon Kenig

Photo of Brandon Kenig

Chairman, Kansas Young Republicans

Brandon Kenig participated in the Semester in Washington Politics program in the Spring of 2006. Since then, he has been very active in Republican politics in Kansas. In 2010, he served as New Media Director for Congressman Kevin Yoder’s campaign, and in 2011 he worked as Constituent Services Representative for U.S. Senator Jerry Moran. Brandon served several campaign roles in 2012, including Technology Coordinator for Yoder for Congress and the Kansas GOP Victory Office. He also served as Co-Director of Kansans for Romney.

A typical day in the life of Brandon during the 2012 campaign included a conference call with Mitt Romney's regional director, assisting the other co-director with the production of a Romney campaign update for the weekly Kansas GOP e-newsletter, and setting up a phone bank for a local legislative candidate (the physical set up and the online, software-based setup, which included voter list upload, calling script, and voicemail configuration). The day might have ended with an open house for local candidates and a meet-and-greet with their supporters.

Brandon was also honored to be elected as one of 40 delegates from Kansas to the Republican National Convention in Tampa. He was one of the youngest elected delegates from Kansas.

In April of 2013, Brandon was elected Chairman of the Kansas Young Republicans, representing all Republicans ages 18-40 years old in the state of Kansas.  In this role, he embarked on a major rebranding effort of the organization, improving communication efforts through a revamp of all social media platforms and the addition of a monthly Kansas YR email newsletter. Also, in his tenure as Chairman, he’s assisted in the formation of new county YR clubs across the state and represented their members on state and local issues to the news media.

Last fall, Brandon was chosen to represent the Kansas City-area technology innovator and entrepreneur community in a major send-off and lobbying effort on Capitol Hill that brought together business, agricultural, religious, and tech interests to urge congressional action on immigration reform, particularly H1B visas for skilled workers, and passage of the Startup Act and other legislation that would expand the number of visas issued and streamline the process.

Most recently, Brandon was named a member of the KC RNC 2016 Committee, a group of political, civic, and business leaders from both Kansas and Missouri who have been tasked with building support and public awareness in the community for the effort to bring the 2016 Republican National Convention to Kansas City.  In February 2014, they held a successful kickoff fundraiser that brought together senators, members of congress, former congressional leaders, local mayors, and other dignitaries across both sides of the state line to help raise the necessary $50 million in commitments to land the convention, which would have a huge economic impact for the city and would be the third Republican National Convention Kansas City has hosted (1928 and 1976 being the other two).

Brandon credits his time in the Semester in Washington Politics program as laying the foundation for his success in politics.

“I graduated from SIW in the spring of 2006 and the campaign knowledge I learned along with the real-world campaign simulations we managed provided me with a wealth of information on how to successfully manage campaigns,” said Brandon. “The skills I learned at SIW in political data modeling, election forecasting, voter outreach, and press relations were invaluable in my campaign experience.”

Brandon says his internship with Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) gave him “insight into the art of legislating and the policy and procedural nuances of shepherding legislation through committee on Capitol Hill.” He added that “My experience at SIW gave me the confidence and skills to be able to lobby successfully on Capitol Hill, know the power players, and know how to make coherent and persuasive arguments in support of major political issues.  My experience in the program and the connections made enabled me to continue to develop my political career and aspirations, including as a U.S. Senate staffer, and most recently, in my involvement in state politics in Kansas and efforts to bring the RNC to Kansas City.”

On his future, Brandon says “my next political move may be my own run for office…, so stay tuned!” We certainly will!