TOPEKA — Former Kansas congressman Tim Huelskamp accepted a position as president of an Illinois institute devoted to injecting conservative ideology into public policy debates on health care, climate change and other issues.
Heartland Institute announced Thursday that Huelskamp would assume that role in July. Huelskamp served three terms in the U.S. House before losing the Republican Party’s nomination in August 2016.
Huelskamp, a member of the Kansas Senate before elected to represent the First District in Congress, said Heartland Institute was a leading free-market think tank.
“Since I have already been successful in driving innovative policies at both the state and federal level,” he said, “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, D.C.”
Heartland Institute since 2008 has promoted the work of scientists and economists skeptical that human activity is the cause of changes in climate. The organization has argued risks of smoking were exaggerated by public health activists to justify more regulation of businesses and higher taxes on smokers.
In 2012, the Charles G. Koch Foundation donated $25,000 to the institute to support health-care reform.
Huelskamp will replace Joseph Bast, who co-founded the libertarian-influenced organization in 1984. Heartland Institute, headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill., distributes commentary on public policy to state and national elected officials, as well as business leaders.