He was born on March 11, 1943, in Lincoln, Nebraska and graduated from Ashland High School. He graduated from Iowa State University in farm operations, University of California-Davis with a master's in agriculture business management and a Ph.D. in agriculture economics. He is a former member of the Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board and current member of the Nebraska Farm Business Association, Nebraska Agriculture Relations Council, Nebraska Land Improvement Contractors Association, and Agriculture Builders of Nebraska.
He was appointed to the legislature on May 15, 1997 to replace Jerome Warner, who had died. He was elected in 1998 to represent the 25th Nebraska legislative district and reelected in 2000 and 2004. He chaired the Education committee, sat on the Revenue committee, the Education Commission of the States, and Midwestern Higher Education Compact.
Raikes was found under a piece of farming equipment, believed to be a hay grinder, at 10:36 PM on September 5, 2009 in Ashland, Nebraska. He was pronounced dead on the scene at 11:07 PM.
His death was described as an accident and the Saunders County Attorney ordered an autopsy on his body.
- ""Former Nebraska state Senator Raikes dead." BNO News. September 6, 2009.
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