Former Manhattan Mayor Mike Dodson has filed for the vacant 67th district House seat in the Kansas Legislature.
The retired U.S. Army veteran filed for the seat Wednesday, a day after Tom Phillips announced he wasn’t seeking re-election this fall. Dodson tells KMAN he still has the energy and desire to serve as an advocate for Manhattan and the state of Kansas.
“I think I can continue to help not only Manhattan, but perhaps can lend a little to the state of Kansas as we try to work our way back to a better normal,” he said.
Dodson left the Manhattan City Commission at the end of last year after a four year term that was preceded by a 37-year career in the Army, including a stint as Fort Riley’s commanding general. He also worked for Bechtel Corporation. Dodson, who is running as Republican, likens his politics to those of U.S. Senator Jerry Moran and the late President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
“I think what we need right now is people who are going to come together because we need all the energy we can get to kinds of things we’re going to have to do to get Kansas back to where it should be,” he said.
Dodson is in his 70s and cited his advanced age for not running again for the Manhattan City Commission last fall, says age shouldn’t hurt his electability to the legislature. He says he still keeps a very active lifestyle.
“I’ve still got the energy and the desire and all of that and hopefully the kinds of things I’ve learned during all my careers will be helpful to primarily the city of Manhattan but certainly, hopefully to the state of Kansas,” he said.
Dodson acknowledges the challenges that lie ahead for the Legislature, most notably the projected tax revenue shortfalls from the last two months.
“We’ve already got 1/12th of the revenue in sales tax eliminated. Arguably we’re not going to do anything more on property tax. Income tax remains to be seen,” he said.
Prioritization will be key, he says so legislators can have a budget they know they can support.
Dodson is currently a member of the Manhattan Economic Recovery Task Force and says supporting local brick-and-mortar businesses will be essential to the recovery of local economies as the health crisis improves.
Dodson, who filed Wednesday is the only candidate to file for the 67th district seat so far. The filing deadline is June 1.