Democrat announces candidacy for attorney general

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A Lawrence trial lawyer who worked as a police officer and prosecutor announced Tuesday that he plans to run as a Democrat for Kansas attorney general.

Chris Mann announced plans to seek the Democratic Party’s nomination to replace Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt, who is running for governor.

“In times like these, families need a champion in their corner. Not a politician, but a law enforcement officer focused on keeping people safe,” Mann said in a statement.

“I’ll focus on the basics of law enforcement, protect our rights, protect our families and make Kansas a safer place to live.”

Mann is the first Democrat to officially announce his plans to run for attorney general.

Kansas City lawyer Kristie Welder, the wife of former congressional candidate Brent Welder, had been looking at running for the position but has showed no signs of movement in recent weeks.

Welder now practices law in Missouri and would need to be licensed in Kansas.

State law requires every candidate for attorney general to be licensed to practice law within the state.

Welder could not be reached for comment on Tuesday afternoon.

Mann has run his own law practice since 2017 after serving an assistant district attorney in Wyandotte County from 2011 to 2013 and the national chair of the board of directors for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

He also served as a senior staff attorney for the state securities commissioner from 2013 to 2017.

Mann became a police officer at 21 years old during his junior year at the University of Kansas.

But his career as a police officer came to an end when he was struck by a drunk driver at 50 mph during a routine traffic stop.

After undergoing years of physical therapy to overcome the injuries from the crash, Mann decided to go to law school where he received a full scholarship to attend Washburn University Law School.

Mann’s announcement comes a week after a poll was released showing that former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was leading the GOP field.

The poll by Remington Research Group found that Kobach received support from 43% of the 800 likely Republican primary voters who were surveyed.

He was trailed by Republican state Sen. Kellie Warren of Leawood with 15% followed by former federal prosecutor Tony Mattivi with 7%.