Keith Esau is a fourth generation Kansan. His great-great-grandparents immigrated to central Kansas with the Mennonites in the late 1800’s. Keith grew up in Buhler (near Hutchinson) and graduated from Buhler High School. He attended college in central Kansas as well. He graduated from Tabor College in Hillsboro in 1982 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music with the tuba as his primary instrument.
Keith and his wife, Charlotte, married in 1980 while Keith was at Tabor. After graduation, they moved to Owasso, Oklahoma where Keith started a company developing and selling software for Macintosh computers. In 1988, Keith sold his software rights to a Lenexa company and moved to Olathe to work for that company. Keith joined a project working on a revolutionary graphical spreadsheet that rivaled Excel. Keith followed that software through 5 different companies, often collaborating with software developers around the world. In 2002, Keith began telecommuting – working for a company in California that purchased development rights to the software while Keith continued to live in Kansas.
In the early 1990’s, Keith grew increasingly frustrated with government and decided that he needed to get involved, rather than complain. He began volunteering on campaigns, which evolved into working with others to recruit grassroots precinct committeepersons and other candidates. This effort became part of revitalizing the Republican Party in Kansas. Keith was first elected as a Precinct Committeeman in 2004 and served on the Third District and State Committees for the Kansas Republican Party from 2004 through 2012. In 2007, then State Party Chairman Kris Kobach appointed Keith as Chairman of the Rules Committee. That committee was instrumental in developing the rules for the 2008 Presidential Caucus in Kansas, the first Republican caucus held in the state since the 1980s. In December 2008, Keith was elected as the Third District Chairman for the Republican Party. He served 2 terms (until elected to the State House) and was pleased when we elected Kevin Yoder as our first Republican Congressman in 12 years during his tenure.
For the last 6 years, Keith has served as the State Representative for House District 14, and has a perfect attendance and voting record during his tenure. In 2015 and 2016, Keith served as the Vice Chair of the House Elections committee and in 2017 through 2018, he has served as the Chair of the Elections Committee.
Keith also enjoys serving within the community. After moving to Olathe, Keith joined the Olathe Civic Band, an all-volunteer organization, where he has played tuba for the last 30 years. He also regularly attends Christ Community Evangelical Free Church in Olathe, which is located in the 14th House District. Keith and Charlotte have five grown children and four young grandchildren.