WSU senior Zach Ketteman running for Kansas Legislature
Wichita State senior Zach Ketteman is hoping to shock the Kansas House of Representatives on Nov. 2. Ketteman, a double major in political science and print journalism, is running as a Democrat against Republican incumbent Pete Degraaf in the 81st District.
“I’m going to go up there to fight for lower taxes, to fight to protect public education,” said Ketteman. “I’m going to vote for what’s best for my district.”
The 81st District encompasses parts of Sedgwick and Sumner counties, including Clearwater, Mulvane, Belle Plaine, some of Haysville and McConnell Air Force Base.
Ketteman, a native of Belle Plaine, decided to make a difference and campaign for change in the district of his hometown.
“I spend a lot of time in Belle Plaine and really care about the community,” said Ketteman. “I wasn’t necessarily the happiest with my representative, so I decided to run.”
As a member of Delta Upsilon fraternity, a full-time student at WSU and now his own campaign manager, Ketteman has learned some subtle lessons about managing his time.
“What I’ve learned is that sleep is more and more optional as you go through college,” said Ketteman. “It’s been a little difficult, but it’s something I’ve adjusted to decently.”
Lacking the budget of his opponent, Ketteman has had to rely on spreading his campaign person by person, house by house.
“It’s really been a lot of door-to-door work. There’s no hidden secret and that was something I learned quick,” said Ketteman. “People really appreciate someone going door-to-door talking to them about their issues and problems with the state.”
If elected, Ketteman hopes to protect public education, something he’s passionate about, while creating jobs and revenue for the 81st District.
His responses from the community, in addition to his goals for office, have been equally well received.
“It’s been unbelievably positive,” said Ketteman. “It seems more and more every day when I talk to people my response is better and better. People are more and more excited about me, my campaign and my views on issues.”
Ketteman is optimistic about his chances in November and about the changes he could make in Topeka.
“By the time I’m in there and by the time I’m done, I hope that when people ask what the best state in the country is to live in that everyone will know it’s Kansas,” said Ketteman.
“That’s really the goal, to make Kansas as best as it can be, and I don’t think there’s any reason why Kansas can’t be the best.”
Win or lose, Ketteman plans to use the lessons he’s learned to help him prepare for the future.
“I’m not looking ahead for higher offices. I’m just going to go where everything leads me,” said Ketteman. “If that means I’m representing Kansas at a higher level that would be great, but if it doesn’t, and this is it, then that’s fine too.”
“I’m just trying to make the state as good as it can be.”
State elections will be held Tuesday, Nov. 2. For more information on Zach Ketteman or his campaign for the 81st District of the Kansas House of Representatives, call (316) 992-1074 or firstname.lastname@example.org.