Petty to challenge Holmes for House seat
Thursday, 10 May 2012 21:13
L&T staff report
Carl Holmes has represented Liberal in the Kansas Legislature since 1985 and has become known as the "Dean" of the Kansas House.
He has rarely faced a challenger, and at the age of 72 has served 27 years in the Kansas House.By the time Holmes was finishing his first year in the Kansas House, Reid Petty was just being born.
Thursday, Petty officially became a candidate for the seat Holmes has held Petty's entire life.
Petty, a 2004 Liberal High School graduate, was elected to his first public office as a member of the USD No. 480 School Board in 2009 at the age of 24.
Petty was selected as the Chairman of the Seward County Republican Party in 2010.
Holmes also served in local government before making his move to the Kansas House of Representatives when he was 45. Holmes was involved in farming prior to holding office as well as working with his family's implement dealership.
Petty, 26, is currently a college student studying education and is planning on graduating in December.
Holmes has become the state's leading utility expert, serving on a number of state and national organizations in planning for electrical infrastructure and legislative policies dealing with utilities. Holmes is currently the chairman of the Energy and Utilities Committee and is Vice Chair of the Rules and Regulations committee.
Petty has been the President of the USD No. 480 School Board the past two years and has been one of the strongest conservative voices on the board.
Holmes, too, has been a conservative voice in the Kansas House.
“I want to help bring a fresh Southwest Kansas voice to Topeka with new ideas," Petty said in a news release announcing his candidacy. "To do so I need to know the concerns of the community while the legislature is in session making the tough decisions. I’ll commit right now to traveling back to the area at least twice a month during session to make sure the public is able to voice their concerns, so I am accountable to the voters."
The Republican primary for the State House is scheduled take place on Tuesday, August 7.