Reid Petty, who is the President of the USD 480 Board of Education, and who is also the Chairman of the Seward County Republican Party has filed to run for the State House of Representatives in the 125 th District, which includes most of Seward County. Petty was born and raised in Liberal and is in his third year on the USD 480 Board of Education, and second year of serving as the Board President. Petty said his decision to seek the office of State Representative comes after many prayers along with many citizens of the community encouraging him to run. “I have had many people from around the community encourage me to run and after praying about it and thinking about it I feel like it is the right thing to do," Petty said. In April of 2009, Petty was elected to the USD 480 Board of Education as the top vote getter with nearly 70% of the vote. In just his second year on the board he was selected by his peers to be the Board President. He was re-elected as President last July. In August of 2010, Petty was selected by the local GOP to be the Chairman of the Seward County Republican Party. As the Chairman of the local GOP, Petty has appointed over 20 precinct members that helped appoint a new State Senator and Register of Deeds. Petty has also worked together with the Liberal Chamber of Commerce to host a ’Night of Politics’ that included bringing Secretary of State Kris Kobach to Liberal. The event brought in over 200 people, including people from Kansas City, Topeka, Wichita, Garden City, and Dodge City. In August of 2011, Petty organized a fundraiser along with the precinct members that raised thousands of dollars for the local GOP that included keynote speaker U.S. Congressman Tim Huelskamp. The Congressman called the fundraiser the best attended he had ever seen in Seward County. In March, Petty organized and chaired the first Presidential Caucus in Seward County since 1988. The event was a huge success as Seward County topped Garden City, Dodge City, Hays, and Great Bend in voter turnout. In the past two years, Petty has been appointed to the Kansas GOP State Committee, the Kansas Young Republicans Executive Board, and was selected and graduated from the Kansas GOP Men's Leadership Series. In a feature on Petty in last year’s Legend Magazine , former U.S. Congressman Todd Tiahrt’s wife Vicki said “That he (Reid) could win an election to the local school board and then become President of the School Board indicated he is a leader with a much needed ability to get things done.” “I felt that I was with a genuine person, a man with a strong rudder, and the energy to take his beliefs to the voters in a compelling and winning way. Reid Petty has depth. He also enjoys the friendship and support of older community members which is impressive,” Tiahrt said. While running for the board of education, Petty made two key promises to the voters. The first was to be fiscally responsible to the public. His second was to visit each school at least once every semester. Petty believes he has followed through on each of these promises. He has never voted to raise local taxes, drawing up alternative plans each time to reduce taxes without reducing classroom instruction. He also has visited each school every semester since he has been on the board, and often times has visited each school more then once. Petty has also stressed transparency and created his own online blog to inform the public how the board votes with an explanation of his own votes. Petty has also set high goals if elected to the State House. He will keep the same goal of being fiscally responsible to the public. He also will fight for what is best for Southwest Kansas, and will make a commitment to come back to Seward County at least twice a month on weekends during the legislative session, which runs from January to May. “I want to help bring a fresh Southwest Kansas voice to Topeka with new ideas. 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,” Petty said. Petty added that this position won’t be a career for him like it has been for so many others. "Far too often people make a certain political office their career. That isn’t what our founding fathers intended government to look like. George Washington set a great example as our first President by stepping aside after eight years. He could have become a King, but he chose his country first. If elected, this position won’t be my career. I will gladly move on when the time is right and let someone take my place,” Petty said. Petty also feels he can bring something unique to the legislature. He knows several of the members of the legislature already, which can help him to build coalitions from day one, but he still has the advantage of being an outsider. “I’m not a status quo type person. I don’t rubber stamp things. Just ask my fellow school board members. I am more then willing to stand up for what I believe is right even if it is unpopular in the board room. However, at the same time I’m also more then willing to work with whoever is in the room to better the citizens of this great community and this great state,” Petty said. Petty will remain on the board of education during the campaign, but will not seek re-election as President of the board in July. The Republican primary for the State House is scheduled take place on Tuesday, August 7.