Wellsville lawmaker Kevin Jones announces for 2nd District congressional race

? The race for the 2nd District congressional seat in Kansas got a little more crowded Wednesday when Republican state Rep. Kevin Jones, of Wellsville, announced that he will seek the GOP nomination.

“I learned long ago that to solve a problem, you have to face it head on and resolve it at the source,” Jones said in a news release announcing his candidacy. “I am running for Congress to take the fight to the source of our problems — Washington, D.C. — this is our mission and we cannot fail.”

Jones, 42, is currently serving his third term in the Kansas Legislature representing the 5th House District from Wellsville, which is about 26 miles southeast of Lawrence, in Franklin County.

Rep. Kevin Jones

Known as both a fiscal and social conservative, Jones was first elected in 2012 when he unseated the incumbent Democrat in that district, former Rep. Bill Feuerborn.

Before entering politics, he served in the Army as a special forces operator and was deployed in various hot spots around the globe, including Iraq. He is also an ordained minister with a master of ministry degree from Southwestern Christian University in Bethany, Okla. He currently works as a Realtor.

If elected, Jones said, he would focus on reining in the national debt, regulatory reform and national security issues.

“We can only break this culture of debt with a renewed, true commitment to fiscal restraint and policies to fuel robust economic growth that raises the quality of life and financial security for all Americans,” Jones said in his statement. “There must be commonsense pro-growth tax reform, coupled with equally commonsense spending reforms.”

He described national security as a “constitutionally mandated duty” of the federal government that is currently not being met.

“I will fight to ensure a strong United States military, while also seeking to restore the lost tactical leadership resulting from the purge of combat experienced officers and frontline servicemen and women during the Obama administration,” he said.

Jones is the third Republican candidate so far to enter the race. Earlier, state Sen. Steve Fitzgerald, of Leavenworth, and Basehor City Council member Vernon J. Fields officially filed for the GOP nomination. State Sen. Caryn Tyson, of Parker, is also said to be considering the race.

Meanwhile, two Democrats have also announced their candidacy: former Rep. Paul Davis, of Lawrence, and Neosho County resident Kelly Standley.