Government & Politics

Veteran, former ninja competitor enters race for Congress in Kansas

Rep. Kevin Jones, a Wellsville Republican who served as a Green Beret in Iraq, announced his decision to campaign for the Republican nomination in Kansas’ 2nd congressional district.
Rep. Kevin Jones, a Wellsville Republican who served as a Green Beret in Iraq, announced his decision to campaign for the Republican nomination in Kansas’ 2nd congressional district.

A Kansas state lawmaker who once appeared on a televised ninja competition is running for Congress.

Rep. Kevin Jones, a Wellsville Republican who served as a Green Beret in Iraq, announced his decision to campaign for the Republican nomination in Kansas’ 2nd congressional district Wednesday.

Jones, who also served on the Wellsville school board, said that his decision to run for Congress stems from a belief that much of the problems facing both the state and local school districts originate in Washington, D.C.

“The broken piece really is in DC. We get all kinds of the trickle-down,” Jones said. “It’s taking the fight to where the fight’s at.”

Jones was first elected to the Kansas House in 2012 after six years in the Army. He emphasized his military background in his announcement, which was sent to fellow Republicans.

“National security is a constitutionally mandated duty of our federal leaders, yet that obligation is not being met as politicians have for nearly a decade gutted our military and implemented a haphazard foreign policy,” Jones said in an announcement.

Jones missed a budget vote during the 2015 legislative session to appear on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior, a competition that tests contestants’ ninja ability through a series of obstacles.

“American Ninja Warrior was an awesome opportunity… The idea is to get people moving and inspired to get off the couch,” Jones said when asked about the experience Wednesday.

Jones was eliminated from the competition after failing to complete the first obstacle, falling into a pool of water.

He joins state Sen. Steve Fitzgerald, a Leavenworth Republican, and Vernon J. Fields, a Basehor city councilman, in seeking the GOP nomination for the seat that is currently held by U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, a Topeka Republican.

Jenkins announced earlier this year that she would not seek re-election in the district, which stretches from northeast Kansas to the Oklahoma border.

On the Democratic side, former gubernatorial nominee Paul Davis officially kicked off his campaign Tuesday.

Bryan Lowry: 816-234-4077, @BryanLowry3

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