Get to Know Abbie Hodgson
Abbie Hodgson descends from five generations of Kansas farmers. In 1871, Abbie’s family homesteaded in Kansas, settling in a one-room dugout in the bank of the Little Arkansas River. Drawn to the frontier by the promise of land, homesteaders were required to cultivate it and build a home. Almost 150 years later, Abbie’s family still lives on and farms the same land.
Abbie grew up in Manhattan, where both her parents worked at K-State, weekends, summers, and holidays were spent on the farm. Maintaining River View Farm is a family affair, and from a young age, Abbie learned the value of hard work. She spent her time mending fences, mowing for hours, and tending to the many animals, the pigs being a favorite. Her grandmother also taught her to bake pies, earning Abbie a champion ribbon at the County 4-H Fair.
Abbie attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence where she received a bachelor’s degree in political science while working at Weaver’s, the locally owned department store. Abbie eventually earned her Ph.D. and taught in the Communication Studies Department at KU for a decade. Through her firsthand work with students, she understands the importance of giving every Kansan the opportunity to pursue a quality, affordable education.
Outside of the classroom, Abbie spent her career in public service to Kansans. She worked in the administrations of both Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and Gov. Mark Parkinson, crafting programs and policies that were transparent and responsive to the needs of all Kansans. Later, Abbie served as the Chief of Staff to the House Minority Leader in the state legislature, where she built a bipartisan coalition to repeal the failed Brownback tax experiment and worked with Republicans and Democrats across the aisle to increase school funding. Most recently, Abbie held a senior role at the Pew Charitable Trust, leading policy change efforts in Kansas and state legislatures across the country to stop predatory payday lenders and increase access to dental care.
Abbie also has critical experience outside of government. For many years she owned and operated her own small business. She knows how important small businesses are to the Kansas economy and she has seen first-hand the challenges that small business owners face navigating red tape and staying competitive in today’s economy.
When not working, Abbie is passionate about promoting women’s leadership and empowerment. She served on the boards of Planned Parenthood of the Great Plains, Kansans Advancing Women, and the Greater Kansas City Women’s Political Caucus and as faculty at Madame President Camp and the Kansas Women’s Leadership Institute.
Abbie is an avowed and shameless policy wonk. The work ethic and determination she learned at home on the farm in Kansas, coupled with her relentless study of public policy issues important to our state and its people, have positioned Abbie to serve as an effective leader in Congress. She will always put Kansans ahead of partisanship and special interest dollars.
She is running for Congress because the chaos and division in Washington is creating instability here at home in Kansas. Abbie will lead on crucial issues like agriculture and trade; she will bring a common sense approach to making health care available and affordable; and she will fight every day to make sure all Kansans can provide for their families and have the tools to succeed in today’s economy.