TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A former Kansas Representative announced Tuesday that he is running for Kansas governor in 2018, declaring the time is now for new leadership.
Joshua Svaty, a Democrat, spoke Tuesday afternoon from the dock of the Ellsworth Co-op Elevator in Blackwolf stating that Kansas is at a crossroads and that the people are ready to change direction.
“The new legislature has started to forge a path, but it also exposed a core problem: leadership matters and our Governor matters. And the next Governor in particular will matter greatly. We must undo the damage inflicted in recent years and begin again.”
Svaty went on to say that there has been a constant stream of bad financial news out of Topeka.
“Our schools are under stress; our highways are in disrepair; hospitals are closing; our mental health services shuttered, and our disability community completely neglected.”
Joshua Svaty, a fifth-generation Kansan, was raised on a farm just outside Ellsworth. His great grandfather, a Union Civil War veteran, arrived in Kansas in 1864 and settled on the Ellsworth/Saline County line. Joshua and his wife, Kimberly, own and operate Free State Farms in Ellsworth County, a diversified crop and livestock operation that includes wheat, sorghum, soybeans, and sunflowers plus a cow/calf herd.
Joshua represented the 108th District in the Kansas House of Representatives for three and a half terms (2003-2009), resigning the seat when appointed by Governor Mark Parkinson to become the 14th Secretary of Agriculture in Kansas. Joshua was first elected to the Statehouse at 22 years old and was named Secretary of Agriculture at the age of 29.
Following his time at the Department of Agriculture, Joshua served as a Senior Adviser in the Environmental Protection Agency and then was Vice President of The Land Institute, an internationally-renowned agricultural non-profit.
Joshua and Kimberly are the parents of three children – Jackson, Mariner, and Evelyn, and are expecting their fourth child in early fall of 2017. The family splits their time between Ellsworth and Topeka.