John Coen, a Republican from Wellsville, has filed to run for the Kansas House 10th District, which includes southern Douglas County and northern Franklin County.
Coen, 51, has served since October 2006 as a special assistant to State Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt, R-Independence.
Before that Coen and his wife, Cherry, operated a dairy in northern Franklin County.
"I am excited for the opportunity to represent the citizens of the 10th District. We have serious issues to debate in our state," Coen said.
"The 2008 Legislature that just adjourned left unresolved such major issues as a comprehensive state energy policy, immigration reform, property tax relief for all citizens and cost of living adjustment for (Kansas Public Employees Retirement System) recipients," he said. "Having lived in this district all my life I know I can voice the feelings of my neighbors."
Coen is resigning his position in the Senate majority leader's office to become a candidate.
The only other candidate who has filed for the position is Democrat Tony Brown of Baldwin City. The incumbent, Democrat Tom Holland, is challenging state Sen. Roger Pine, R-Lawrence.
Coen, a graduate of Kansas State University, has served 11 years on the Ransom Memorial Hospital board of trustees, four years on the USD 290 school board, eight years on the Franklin County Farm Bureau board of directors and is a 25-year member of the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce.