Kansas’ District 1 Congressional seat is on the ballot for the Aug. 4 primary election.
Tracey Mann is one of the four candidates seeking the Republican bid.
Prior to his candidacy Mann served as the lieutenant governor from 2018-2019. A native of Kansas, Mann grew up in Quinter, where he graduated from Quinter High School in 1995.
Following high school Mann attended Kansas State University where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics in 2000.
Mann said his interest in politics began when he served as congressman Jerry Moran’s intern in the summer of 1997.
“I served in Moran's office just for a summer, just for a couple of months, but he really instilled in me a love for Kansas and Kansans,” he said.
Besides politics, Mann is a businessman. He works on his own in commercial real estate brokerage and operates some multi-family and single-family residential properties and some commercial buildings with partners.
He also has a development company called Three Strands.
Mann currently lives in Salina with his wife of 18 years, Audrey, and their four children, ages eight, six, five and two.
Mann said he decided to run for office because he wants to take the “conservative Kansas values and advocate for agriculture in Washington (D.C.).”
Kansas’ 1st Congressional District is mostly rural, and the people value faith, family and hard work, Mann said.
On immigration, Mann said he is a purporter of border security and legal immigration.
“I think we need to construct a wall and secure our border and we need a legal system that people can come to the country and do the work that our economy needs, fill the jobs that our economy needs,” he said.
Mann also discussed the jail crisis. He said it is more of a local issue to be addressed at the state and county level.
“I did appreciate the president’s bipartisan effort that happened last year to do some prison reform,” he said. “I support those things.”
On water, Mann said it is a precious resource, especially in Kansas for farmers.
“We've got to have a water policy that works and is specific to particular areas because there's different needs all over the state and all over the country for water,” he said.
Mann also voiced concern over the country’s debt.
“I'm incredibly concerned with the size of our federal debt,” he said. “We're $23.5 trillion in debt and with COVID-19 we've racked up another $6 trillion and that's very concerning to me.”
On the topic of COVID-19, Mann expressed a desire to reopen the economy and get people back to work.
“Small businesses all over the district, all over the state are hurting and we've got to reopen the economy,” he said. “It's past time to do that.”
Mann also discussed farm economy, which he said was “incredibly important.”
“The biggest thing facing agriculture right now is low commodity prices and low livestock prices,” he said. “We've got to number one, restart reopening the economy fully, and number two, we've got to return to trade and normal demand levels to get our commodity and livestock prices up.”
If that’s done Mann said people will have more money to spend on Main Street at local business and “everybody prospers.”
If elected Mann hopes to advocate for farmers and ranchers and sit on the House Agriculture Committee.
“Agriculture is the biggest driver of the Big First economy by far, and we have to have people in Washington that are willing to represent and advocate for agriculture ... (to) the members of Congress who are from urban areas,” he said.
Mann described himself as being pro-life, pro-agriculture, pro-gun and pro-Trump.