State Sen. David Haley, D-4th Dist., has filed for mayor-CEO of Kansas City, Kansas, and Wyandotte County.
Sen. Haley said he made the decision to file after considered evaluation. His over-arching concern in running for mayor is to “lift the county as we grow,” he said.
He said his second concern is greater transparency and accountability for the local government, not only the Unified Government but also the Board of Public Utilities.
He said he favors growth in the entire county, not just one part of it.
Sen. Haley ran for mayor previously, around 20 years ago, making it past the primary. Carol Marinovich was elected mayor in the general election that year.
“I am very confident in the leadership of Mark Holland, in the leadership of David Alvey, to represent our county well,” Sen. Haley said about two others of the five running for mayor. “However, I want to be the translation to the majority of Wyandotte Countians who don’t quite understand why we are not seeing growth and opportunity in other villages in our county, besides Village West.”
Sen. Haley has served 23 years in the Kansas Legislature, including six in the House and 17 in the Senate, where he is currently the only senator who is an attorney. He has had several bills passed in the Senate. The Legislature is still in session currently. If elected mayor, Haley said he would step down from the Senate.
“When elected mayor, I will immediately look to find a committed replacement to the Senate seat,” he said, and added he would not leave the seat vacant but would work to ensure continuity in representation.
Sen. Haley said one of his issues would be the enhancement of Wyandotte County’s image. He is in favor of using some of the windfall revenues from the Village West area to grow the entire county, he said. He also would favor a gradual facelift for the downtown area as well as other areas, particularly eastern and southern accesses in and out of the county, he said.
Sen. Haley said there is now a brief window of opportunity to make an aggressive use of the windfall revenues to return revenue to the county. He discussed helping small businesses, and said he would be supportive of offering incentives to some local small businesses.
If elected, he said he would work with the tools that already exist to take abandoned properties and put them in responsible parties’ hands, working with the property owners to acquire those properties. He said there were some strong and good initiatives started in this administration and former administrations that need to be continued and built upon.
“I’ve really, truly loved this county and its diversity,” Sen. Haley said. “I believe in Wyandotte County’s vote.”
Haley, a native of Wyandotte County, has a bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga., and a law degree from Howard University Law School. He worked as an assistant district attorney in Wyandotte County before he began his political career. His father, the late George Haley, is a former state senator and former assistant city attorney, who later served as a U.S. ambassador. His mother taught English and drama at Sumner High School and Northeast Junior High School.
Candidates who have filed for mayor, besides Haley, include incumbent Mayor Mark Holland, David Alvey, D. Keith Jordan and Janice Witt. The filing deadline is noon Thursday, June 1.