A Leavenworth city commissioner is seeking a seat in the Kansas House of Representatives.
Larry Dedeke, 68, said he's filed as a Republican candidate for the 41st District, which is made up of portions of the city of Leavenworth and Fort Leavenworth.
Even though the general election is still more than a year away, Dedeke said he filed as a candidate Friday because he had to be in Topeka anyway and decided to get it out of the way early.
Dedeke, who's served on the City Commission for about 15 years, said he wants to use his experience in Topeka.
If elected, Dedeke said economic development will be his No. 1 goal in the Kansas House of Representatives.
"We've got to get Leavenworth growing," he said.
He pointed to a proposal for creating an outer loop freeway that would intersect with U.S. 73 in northern Leavenworth as one project that could help Leavenworth grow. He also mentioned the city's effort for a new bridge across the Missouri River that would connect to a four-lane roadway on the Missouri side.
"I would like to continue that fight at the state level," he said.
Dedeke believes these projects would create jobs for the community, something Leavenworth needs. He said the city already has the talent and manpower.
Dedeke said he's an advocate for the Second Amendment and described himself as pro-life.
Dedeke, who's retired from the automotive field, said he had been considering the run for the last couple of months and received feedback from people.
The 41st District currently is represented by Melanie Meier, a Democrat.
The filing deadline for Republican and Democratic candidates is June 1, according to information posted on the website for the Kansas secretary of state.
A primary, if one is needed, would be Aug. 5. The general election will be Nov. 4, 2014.
Dedeke said he looks forward to meeting with people as he campaigns.
"I'll do a walking campaign," he said.
In addition to his campaigns for the City Commission, Dedeke also once made an unsuccessful run for the Leavenworth County Commission.
Dedeke said he's lived in the 41st District for 47 years.
Another member of the City Commission ran for the 41st District seat in 2012. Mark Preisinger was defeated in the Republican primary.