A Leavenworth Democrat who currently serves in the Kansas House of Representatives has announced he will be making a run for the state Senate next year.

A Leavenworth Democrat who currently serves in the Kansas House of Representatives has announced he will be making a run for the state Senate next year.

Jeff Pittman currently represents the 41st District in the Kansas House. But he has announced he is running for the 5th District of the Kansas Senate. The 5th District includes the cities of Leavenworth and Lansing and a portion of Wyandotte County.

The 5th District currently is represented by Sen. Kevin Braun, a Republican from Kansas City, Kansas.

“I’m running because the people of Senate District 5 deserve to be represented by someone from this region who is used to working for them as part of the solution, not part of the problem,” Pittman said in a news release. “Appointed into his position, Kevin Braun does not currently represent the will of the people.”

Braun began serving as the senator for the 5th District last year. He was selected by Republican precinct committeemen and committeewomen to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of former state Sen. Steve Fitzgerald.

In a telephone interview, Pittman was critical of Braun for not supporting Medicaid expansion in Kansas. Pittman also said he disagrees with positions Braun has taken in the past regarding spending for education.

Braun posted a response to Pittman’s candidacy on Facebook.

“This is a serious job with life altering decisions that impact all Kansans,” Braun said in the statement. “It requires maturity and someone who actually shows up to the Capital.”

In the statement, Braun argued Pittman’s “voting record shows he is not interested in reducing taxes for the middle class or small business and his attendance record has shown the entire state that he is not a serious legislator.”

Pittman said he has missed days during one legislative session because of illness and a work trip. He said he missed a couple of days during another legislative session while taking a family member to cancer treatment.

In his statement, Braun also argues he will not let East Coast and West Coast socialism creep into Kansas.

Pittman said he does not consider himself a socialist.

Pittman said announcing his intention to run for the Senate now allows him to start generating name recognition. It also gives others time to consider a run for Pittman’s current seat in the Kansas House of Representatives.

Pittman said his early announcement also allows for fundraising opportunities.

Pittman has filed a treasurer report, which allows him to raise money as a candidate for the Kansas Senate.

He plans to formally file as a state Senate candidate soon.

A phone message for Braun was not immediately returned Tuesday afternoon.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR