By NICK GOSNELL
HUTCHINSON— Former Kansas Lt. Gov. Tracey Mann ran for Congress once before in 2010, but now he's got more experience as he looks at the Big First seat in 2020.
"Politics were off my radar, but they got on my radar in a big way when I was appointed by Jeff Colyer to serve as his lieutenant governor," Mann said. "I served as the 50th lieutenant governor of Kansas. That put politics back on my radar, and now, with the seat opening with Roger Marshall running for the U.S. Senate, I decided to run for this open Congressional seat here in the Big First."
Mann grew up on a farm near Quinter, which he believes gives him the perspective needed to represent the district's agricultural interests.
"Agriculture is the biggest driver of our economy in the Big First," Mann said. "Hutch, Salina, McPherson also are impacted by commodity prices. When commodity prices are high, when agriculture does well, there's more money to spend on Main Street in Reno County and across the district."
It's vitally important, in Mann's opinion, that the Big First's representative be on the House Agriculture committee.
"I think we'd be amazed to know how many members of the House Ag committee have never really toured a modern farm today, that really understand where their meat comes from, where their products come from," Mann said. "I think, through this COVID thing, I think a lot of people in urban areas of our country have been so used to going to the grocery stores and having fewer worries that there will be everything on the shelf. I think there's an increased appreciation for farmers and ranchers and I would like to carry that momentum to the House Ag committee."
Mann was endorsed recently by the Kansas Farm Bureau for the First District's Republican nomination.