SUBLETTE — Republican Jeffrey Locke didn’t have success running several times for the State House of Representatives from a Democratic stronghold in southeastern Kansas.
But now he lives in southwest Kansas which currently is sending only Republicans to the State House.
Locke, a resident of Sublette who teaches art in Satanta USD 507, filed Friday to run in the 124th House District. He is the first announced or formal candidate for the seat. State Rep. J. Stephen Alford, R-Ulysses, has not revealed his intentions.
Alford, 75 and having farm interests, has held the seat since 2011. In January, Alford’s comments in response to a question about the legalization of marijuana made national news when he said “their character makeup, their genetics” made African-Americans more susceptible to drug abuse.
“He said some things you can't really apologize for,” Locke said.
Locke’s wife is disabled and lives in McPherson. If elected, he said, he would take his wife to Topeka during the session.
Locke, 54, is familiar with the cost-cutting that some schools have had to make, with USD 507 looking at cutting its art department. He thinks he can do more for schools and school arts if he runs for the Legislature, he said.
“If it’s in the Republican Party platform, I stand for that,” Locke said when asked to describe his views as a Republican.
The 124th District covers all of Morton, Stanton and Stevens counties and portions of Grant, Haskell and Seward counties.