Larry Alley said he had not been planning to run for public office again.
Alley, a Winfield Republican, ran three times against Rep. Ed Trimmer, D-Winfield, as an Independent in 2010 and as a Republican in 2012 and 2014, losing by small margins each time.
Then Alley heard that Sen. Steve Abrams, R-Arkansas City, had announced that he did not plan to run again for his District 32 seat in the Kansas Senate.
Alley said he spoke with Abrams, who told him he had a business opportunity coming up, and he could not take care of that and his duties as a state senator.
Once Alley had spoken with Abrams, he talked over the possibility of running again with his wife Sondra.
“We thought about it, prayed about it and decided to pursue it,” Alley said.
He filed at about 8:02 a.m. Wednesday, he said, after going up to Topeka to see if anyone else had filed.
Alley said he sees the state Legislature facing three main issues: education; the opportunity to grow businesses and grow the economy; and looking at how the state spends its revenues.
“You know, every picnic we’re told we’re going to have a problem with the budget. I don’t care who the governor is — Sebelius, Brownback, whoever,” Alley said. “What we haven’t concentrated on is a spending plan. We need people (in the state government) who are used to working with budgets.”
Alley referred to a 2015 efficiency study done by the state that found $2.1 billion in savings over five years “without cutting any vital services.”
“I believe if we look at the efficiencies, we may be overspending” in some areas, he said.
Alley said he has been dealing with budgets since he graduated from college. He became a project manager for a company building apartments all over the U.S. and he had to be responsible for the project budgets. No matter how a project goes, he said, you have to look at it to “see the efficiencies you can gain.”
According to Alley, many of the suggestions in the 2015 efficiency study are “low-hanging fruit. They could be plucked pretty easy.”
Asked why the state has not gone after the efficiencies, he said, many “lobbyists are opposing them.”