Richard Rodewald, a Republican who farms near Baldwin in southeastern Douglas County, is running for the Kansas House of Representatives in the 45th District.
Rodewald, 54, who also works as a tooling engineer at the General Motors plant in Kansas City, will face Martha Parker in the Republican primary Aug. 7. Rep. John Solbach, D-Lawrence, currently holds the seat.
Rodewald said running for office "is something I felt I had to do." He said problems with the reappraisal and classification amendment, which raised property taxes, were part of the reason he filed.
"I'm probably a rebel," he said. "I'm not happy with what I'm seeing going on in Topeka.
"Financially, our state is in deep trouble," he added. "Our current budget year expenditures far exceed tax revenues. It has become a battleground in Topeka over who is going to spend our money."
RODEWALD said his expertise is in "cost control," which he has learned through farming, his education, working at General Moters, and buying and selling in the stock market.
Rodewald has degrees in mechanical engineering and business administration from Kansas University. He said he earned those degrees while working with his brother as co-owner of a dairy farm.
"And as a grain and livestock farmer for 42 years, I learned the value of good soil conservation on all my land," he said.
Rodewald also said he is concerned that many appraisals being done on a county level have been incorrect.
"I understand the current state law on land use value for property tax," he said. "They're not following the law."
IN A POSITION paper, Rodewald wrote that state taxes should be used to "control spending; every dollar should produce value."
He also said stiff fines and community service sentences should be imposed on those found to be "contaminated" with illegal drugs. And sellers of illegal drugs, he said, should get mandatory, long-term sentences and have their property confiscated.
Rodewald said he will run an inexpensive campaign. He said that when he gets off work, he will go door to door "until it's time to go to bed."
As for campaign financing, Rodewald said every election campaign contribution should be restricted to a maximum of $250.
Rodewald said that for his campaign he would place a $20 limit on individual contributions. "I don't expect to get over $100" in total contributions, he said.
Rodewald has two children, Erin, 12, and Mike, 9. Both attend Baldwin Grade School.