By Jamie Willey
Paul Davis began a drive Thursday to collect the needed signatures to allow him to file for the Kansas Congressional 2nd District race by petition, but his focus was on higher-education issues as he visited Labette Community College first.
The Lawrence Democrat, an attorney who formerly served as a state representative before running an unsuccessful campaign for governor, announced Wednesday he will collect the required 2,300 signatures to file for the election to replace Republican Rep. Lynn Jenkins. Jenkins is not seeking re-election. Davis plans to get signatures from people in all 25 counties in the district. He already has started the effort.
“We are literally going door to door to get signatures,” Davis said.
Davis said his campaign will rely heavily on grassroots support, and collecting signatures gives him more of a chance to talk to people.
“I think it gives us an opportunity to really engage with people throughout the 2nd District,” he said.
The petition drive began in earnest with a public event Thursday evening in Pittsburg, but Davis made a stop at LCC in the morning before going on a ride-along with Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves and taking tours of Block22 and Watco Cos. in Pittsburg.
At the college, Davis conversed with Mark Watkins, LCC president, and three vice presidents over breakfast at the Cardinal Cafe.
Davis said he is a strong believer in community and vocational-technical colleges. With the economy shifting, America also must shift and provide more training for today’s workforce.
“I just don’t think there’s any place where that’s going on more than here,” Davis said.