Government & Politics

Does a help wanted ad mean this Kansas Democrat is running for U.S. Senate?

Usha Reddi
Usha Reddi

A jobs board post suggests a Manhattan Democrat is looking to hire campaign staff ahead of a run for U.S. Senate.

The post is the first evidence that Manhattan Mayor Pro Tem Usha Reddi has begun building a campaign.

The post, sent to an online group for liberal and Democratic job seekers, says a U.S. Senate campaign in Kansas is seeking a deputy finance director. Those interested are told to email

Reddi has been publicly weighing a bid since July but hasn’t announced a decision. The post says the deputy finance director needs to be available Sept. 1.

Reddi didn’t respond to a request for comment on Wednesday. Instead, a Washington, D.C.-based political strategy firm for Democrats responded — further suggesting Reddi has taken steps toward building a campaign.

“At this time, we are not in a position to share any information,” said Ashley Motley, with Bold Blue Campaigns, in an email.

In a lengthy radio interview in July, Reddi expressed interest in a Senate campaign. She also revealed that her father had pleaded guilty days earlier to raping Reddi as a child.

Reddi is a teacher in Manhattan and is set to become the city’s mayor next year (mayors serve on a rotating basis).

If Reddi runs for Senate, she’ll join a Democratic field that includes former federal prosecutor Barry Grissom, former U.S. Rep. Nancy Boyda and retired court services officer Robert Tillman.

On the Republican side, Kansas Treasurer Jake LaTurner, Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle, former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and former Kansas City Chiefs player Dave Lindstrom are all running.

Related stories from Kansas City Star

Jonathan Shorman covers Kansas politics and the Legislature for The Wichita Eagle and The Kansas City Star. He’s been covering politics for six years, first in Missouri and now in Kansas. He holds a journalism degree from the University of Kansas.