Archive for Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Senator won’t seek re-election

Additional duties at job preclude Lyon’s second term

May 26, 2004

Bob Lyon, who was expected to seek re-election to a second term representing the 3rd Kansas Senate district, has decided not to run again.

Lyon said he had intended to campaign for re-election.

But changes in his full-time job as a structural engineer at HNTB in Kansas City, Mo., mean he won't be able to handle the duties of a state senator.

"Last October, I went through a long evaluation process of whether or not to run again, and decided to go for it," Lyon said.

"But during the legislative break in April, my employer approached me with a request for greater service that would preclude taking the necessary four-month leave every year for the legislative session."

Lyon, who has worked for HNTB for 24 years, said he decided he would take on the additional responsibilities at work, partly out of company loyalty.

"They have been extremely good to me during that time, granting me leave to take part in a yearlong ministry in Russia, and then recently allowing me to serve in the Legislature," Lyon said.

"Now they have requested that I accept greater challenges, and I feel a responsibility to help out. I'm as surprised as anyone about this turn of events. I was gearing up for another campaign and had fabulous offers of help. Although I never intended to become a career politician, I thought I had another term left in me. I'm still getting used to the idea myself."

He said he hoped to continue as a member of the Legislative Education Planning Committee until January 2005, when his term ends.

He represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes Tonganoxie, Basehor, Linwood and Easton in Leavenworth County; Baldwin, Eudora and the portion of Lawrence north of Sixth Street in Douglas County; and all of Jefferson County.

Jan Justice of Bonner Springs is a Democratic candidate for Lyon's seat in the Senate. And Richard Rodewald, a Eudora Republican, has filed for the post.

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