Ken Grotewiel, former assistant director of the Kansas Water Office, is running for Douglas County commissioner in the 3rd District.
Grotewiel, 58, filed Thursday as a Democrat.
"Lawrence and Douglas County is a wonderful place to live, and it's worth our efforts to continue its improvement," Grotewiel said. "The community is at a crossroads as development pressures increase and the population grows."
Grotewiel said he wants to preserve what makes the area special through growth that enhances the history and cultural advantages the county enjoys.
"These challenges are countywide, both in the city and the rural areas," he said. "In the end, we are all in this together."
Grotewiel served from 1983 to 1994 as state representative from Wichita in the Kansas Legislature. He served in a leadership capacity on utility and tax issues along with environmental and water issues.
Grotewiel has experience as a facilitator who has worked primarily to resolve water and natural resource disputes. He is a Kansas Supreme Court-approved mediator. He also worked as the director of the Consumer Assistance Division for the Kansas Insurance Department where he helped settle insurance complaints filed by consumers.
Grotewiel and his wife, Jennifer, moved this year to west Lawrence from Topeka.
"I've always been involved in the communities I've lived in," he said. "Serving as county commissioner would give me an opportunity to make a difference right away."
The 3rd District commissioner is Jere McElhaney. He is not seeking re-election.
The other Democrat to file in the district is Clenece Hills. Republicans John Tacha and Jim Flory also have filed.