He will officially begin his duties as the second president of the Chicago-based organization next month, replacing outgoing president Joseph Bast.
“After a long and careful search, we’ve found the person who can take The Heartland Institute to the next level,” said Bast. “Dr. Huelskamp combines the characteristics of a scholar, elected official, and small businessman that make him the ideal person to lead one of the nation’s top think tanks. His dedication to free-market ideas and ‘heartland values’ means Heartland will be in good hands long into the future.”
“I am so honored and excited to join the Heartland team,” said Dr. Huelskamp. “As a former member of Congress and Kansas state senator, I can attest that The Heartland Institute is one of the preeminent free-market think tanks in the world. Since I have already been successful in driving innovative policies at both the state and federal level, I am confident that I can lead Heartland toward even greater success in promoting the cause of freedom in every state, and now in Washington, DC.”
This news comes after Huelskamp lost his bid for re-election to moderate Republican Roger Marshall last August. The former Kansas lawmaker was a visible member of the House Freedom Caucus who was ousted from the House Budget and Agricultural committees by former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) for bucking party leadership.
Labeled a “conservative bomb thrower” by opponents, the former House Tea Party Caucus chairman is a natural fit to take over the helms at Heartland Institute.
In a phone interview with The Hill, Huelskamp expressed excitement over the new role.
“It’s a really good fit,” said Huelskamp. “I have a background of 20 years in electoral politics — 14 years in the state Senate, six years in Congress — and they are influencing every state legislature in the country; they are affecting free-market policies across the country and in Washington.”
Huelskamp was a staunch defender of free markets and values during his time in Congress. Prior to serving in Congress, he served in the Kansas state legislature as a state senator for 14 years. This couldn’t be a more better match for the conservative firebrand. Congratulations!