AP: Veteran House Dem Grant retiring

5/11/2013

TOPEKA (AP) — A veteran southeast Kansas Democrat, clad in an uncharacteristic coat and tie, announced Friday that he will retire from office at the end of the 2013 session.

TOPEKA (AP) — A veteran southeast Kansas Democrat, clad in an uncharacteristic coat and tie, announced Friday that he will retire from office at the end of the 2013 session.

Bob Grant, of Frontenac, told colleagues on Friday that he would be stepping down to spend more time with his family. His retirement is effective Dec. 10.

"It's been a hell of a ride, but come January it will be time for me to stay home," Grant said. "It's time to go home and take care of myself."

Grant, 64 is known for his colorful language and casual dress, rarely wearing a tie or dress shirt under his coat during legislative session. He sported a black tuxedo and gray vest as he made his intentions known.

"I dressed comfortably," Grant said. "I always said it wasn't the clothes you wear but whether you use common sense and try to be the best legislator that you can."

He was first appointed to the House in 1991, the last time Democrats held a majority in either legislative chamber. He lost election in 1994 to Republican Dee Yoh of Pittsburg by 70 votes. Grant won the seat for good in a rematch in 1996 with Yoh.

An outspoken advocate for economic growth in southeast Kansas, Grant was behind the 2007 legislation that expanded casino gambling across Kansas, including a provision to allow construction of a casino in either Crawford or Cherokee counties. He tried unsuccessfully repeatedly to amend the law to lower the investment threshold as development of the casino has failed to materialize.

House Minority Leader Paul Davis said Grant was a "results-driven legislator" who made sound decisions.

"We will miss his expertise, his dedication, but most of all his sense of humor," said Davis, a Lawrence Democrat.

Grant said he has talked to people about filling his unexpired term but said no decision had been made about his replacement. The selection will be made Democrats in his district, which includes parts of Allen, Bourbon, Crawford and Neosho counties.

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