Boyer eyeing O’Connor’s senate seat
State Representative Rob Boyer said Monday he would seek the 9th District Kansas Senate seat currently held by Kay O'Connor of Olathe.
Boyer, who is in his first term in the Kansas House, said he was running for the Senate because of the increased voice the upper house offered.
"My issues are always going to be economic development, support for education and the responsible development of Sunflower," he said. "The Senate offers a better opportunity to impact those issues."
Boyer won the 38th District in 2002 when he defeated fellow Republican Shannan Nelson of Shawnee in the primary and Eudora Democrat Carlie Abel in the general election. There was no incumbent in the race for the newly reconstituted district along Kansas Highway 10 from western Shawnee and Lenexa to eastern Lawrence.
In his freshman year in the Kansas House, Boyer was a key supporter of successful legislation that made public financing incentives possible at the Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant with its transfer and the Johnson County Commission's creation of a redevelopment district at the closed plant. The bill also allows the Commission to name a redevelopment authority to help guide the plant's development.
In his first session, Boyer supported the expanded use of sales tax revenue bonds as a way to attract investment in tourist and entertainment venues to the state, Boyer said.
The Olathe businessman has worked to build links among area civic leaders and organizations like KC Catalyst that are nvolved in efforts to create a biotechnology corridor along Kansas Highway 10. Boyer said his advocacy of that cause included creation of biotechnology academies like the biotech charter school Eudora USD 491 was exploring.
Although early redistricting options the Legislature considered in 2000 included Eudora in the 9th Senate District, the final map limits the district to Johnson County.
"This Senate race doesn't change at all my commitment to Eudora," Boyer said. "(USD 491 Superintendent) Marty Kobza is a good friend, and I intend to help him with this biotech academy program."
Boyer endorsed Tom Marsh, a fellow GOP moderate and neighbor in the Cedar Creek neighborhood of Olathe, in his race for the 38th District seat. Marsh will make a formal announcement of his candidacy next week.