House Speaker Ray Merrick has a proven record of successful leadership in state government. More importantly, he is committed to making Kansas communities better places to live, work and raise a family. Ray, his wife, Phyllis, and their sons have been active and involved citizens for decades.

Ray attended both the University of Kansas and Washburn University, graduating from Washburn in 1965 with a Bachelors in Business Administration.

After college Ray was in the United States Marine Corps for several years and then began a career in sales for Folgers Coffee. Over time he moved on to be Senior Vice President and General Manager of Treat America, and then Senior Vice President and General Manager of Clean Enterprises, a foodservice company.

Recently he started his own company, MJM Management, which manages shopping centers in the growing southern suburban of the Kansas City region.

Merrick was appointed to the Kansas Legislature in 2000 by the precinct committee of the 27th House District. After serving in the Kansas House of Representatives just one term, Merrick was elected in 2002 to Assistant Majority Leader of the House. A term later, in 2004, he was elected Speaker Pro Tem of the Kansas House of Representatives. He served as Majority Leader through 2010.

Shortly after the 2010 election, Merrick was elected by Republican Precinct Committee to fill out the remainder of Senator Jeff Colyer’s term as senator after he was elected Lieutenant Governor.  In 2012 Merrick decided to return to the House. He ran and was elected again to represent the 27th House district.  He was then elected by his peers to serve as Speaker of the House.

Merrick is a graduate of the Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development, Chair of the Canadian-US Relations Committee with Council of State Governments, and a member of the State Legislative Leadership Foundation. He is a member of National Council of State Governments and on the board of American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), where he also sat on the Healthcare Task Force. He is now the Kansas Chair of ALEC. In 2010, he received the prestigious legislator of the year from ALEC.

Ray has also been involved in numerous community organizations:

37th Precinct Committee—three terms

Activities Committee Blue Valley School District,

Three-time President Blue Valley Riding Homes Association,

Four-year President and Coach of Johnson County Youth Football,

Youth Baseball Coach,

Co-founder Blue Valley Senior Baseball,

Treasurer Blue Valley Senior Baseball,

Debate and Forensics Judge,

Eagle Scout Advisor, and

Member of Who’s Who in the Midwest

Ray and his wife Phyllis are 20+ year residents of the 27th district where their sons, Mike and Matt, grew up, attended, and graduated from Blue Valley High School.