John Doll is a son of Southwest Kansas. Growing up in Ingalls — a small town halfway between Garden City and Dodge City — Doll quickly learned the value of hard work and a steady hand in the fields and on the feedlots of the family business, Irsik & Doll.
Time spent working in that cattle and grain operation, founded in 1961 by his father and grandfather alongside the Irsik brothers, taught a young John Doll lifelong lessons in initiative, getting up early and taking pride in and responsibility for his work.
Doll’s parents, Loren and Veleeta, instilled in him a vibrant optimism and sense of humor and reminded John and his five siblings that every individual, regardless of their station in life, was deserving of dignity and respect. Doll took those principles to heart as a boy attending Ingalls public schools and would later pass them on to students of his own as an educator.
After graduating St. Mary of the Plains College in 1979, Doll began a teaching and coaching career that would span three decades. From his first classroom at St. Xavier High School in Junction City, to stints in Udall, Wichita and Garden City schools, Doll developed a love for teaching and an understanding of the importance of a high quality K-12 education.
Outside the classroom Doll pursued his other love — coaching — that allowed him to test his leadership skills and penchant for motivating young people on baseball diamonds, football fields and basketball courts around the state.
With 12 weeks off each summer, Doll worked summer basketball leagues at KU, KSU and Wichita State, among other schools, and later put on his own “Be the best you can be” camps in small towns throughout Central and Western Kansas for over a decade.
It wasn’t until 2007, at the age of 50, that Doll sought and won his first job in elective politics as a member of the Garden City Commission. Far from the partisanship and personal attacks of Topeka, Doll’s job as City Commissioner called on his years of experience as a collaborator and common sense problem solver to help lead local initiatives around economic development and infrastructure improvement.
"John feels so strongly about the opportunity to bring true Independent leadership to Topeka that he changed his party registration from Republican to Independent to join my ticket." - Greg Orman
During two terms on the nonpartisan Commission, Doll and his colleagues oversaw a significant retail expansion in Garden City involving several national store brands and welcomed American Airlines to the region for the first commercial jet service into Western Kansas.
Doll was elected Mayor of Garden City in 2011 by his fellow commissioners, a role he would serve in for a year, and in 2012 as a Republican challenged the sitting incumbent in state House District 123 and won. After two terms in the House, Doll was elected in 2016 to the Senate seat for District 39, which includes 10 counties in the southwest corner of the state.
During his time in the state Legislature, Doll has continued to focus on transportation and infrastructure improvements for Southwest Kansas, including funding for roads, railways and airport and aviation services. Another focus has been western Kansas’ housing shortage, which is a key factor for regional economic development, along with schools and public education.
In recognition of his commitment to these issues, Doll was selected last year by the Senate Republican Leadership to serve as vice chairman of the Education and Transportation committees.
Doll also serves as the Kansas Legislature’s representative to the Interstate Migrant Education Council, a national policy organization advocating for migrant children and youth, and as a board member of the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame.
Doll and his wife, Janet, a small business owner and former Garden City commissioner, have been married 35 years and have two children and one grandchild.
I’m leaving the Republican Party to run as an Independent with @GregOrman because I think Greg is exactly what we need to ignite the Kansas economy and once again make our state a place where our children and grandchildren choose to work and raise a family! #ksleg https://t.co/uxzxLPdjgq— John Doll (@johndoll22) March 7, 2018