Political Speaker at KWU
Written by Abby Wray on November 3, 2019
Barbara Marshall’s public speaking class had a guest speaker a few weeks ago with a career that heavily involves public speaking and communication. Randall Hardy is a Kansas State Senator for the 24th district who assumed office in 2017. He spoke to Marshall’s class to give a glimpse at what it is like to represent the people and be a politician in Kansas. I had a chance after class to interview him so those who missed his lecture could still benefit from him coming to KWU.
A: So what inspired you to be a public office figure?
Randall Hardy: I have to admit that this job was never part of my long term plan. What inspired me to do this was to first engaged in my community. I ran for city commission and won in 2013 and was successful and I felt like I had, based on my background of being a company president, I was concerned about what was happening in Salina and I wanted to make a difference in terms of the direction the city was going. So I sat on the city commission for two years and ran for reelection in 2015 and was successful then. It was during this period of time that I became concerned with what was happening on the state level. Kansas wasn’t able to balance its budget- we were stealing money from highways, stealing money from education and at a certain point I got to the point where I thought, “ You know what? I don’t think we can keep going down this path,” and I didn’t know if I could win but I thought I would try. So I decided to file for state senate race. I did not have a beef with my representative, she was fine, but the state senator was saying things that didn’t resonate with me in terms of the direction the state was going so I said that’s the race I need to be in. I filed and knocked on four thousand doors and lost ten pounds and won the primary. I went on to be successful in the general election as well. I was sworn in January 2017 and that’s where I am now.
A: Wow, so you’re a fairly new politician?
Hardy: Correct, in fact I don’t like to call myself a politician. I feel like I’m just a concerned citizen wanting to make the state better.
A: Do you feel that just being a concerned citizen makes you better represent the populous of your community versus being a standard politician?
Hardy: I would say so. When I am in the role I’m in now all I care about it making Salina, Saline County, and Dickinson County a better place. As a politician, I think there are a lot of people not content with where they are, they are looking for higher office. Thinking about running for governor or something- but I don’t have that on my radar. My focus is on how can I help my city, my county, and Kansas better.
A: How do you think you work to inspire other people to become part of the public office or politicians?
Hardy: I think my life has been an example of what someone can do. You know, you don’t have to be a politician or have it in your blood to be successful. All you need to care about it making a difference in the state or county you live in. As long as you care enough about making your city or state a better place, then you have a good chance at making it happen. You just have to try hard enough.
If you’re interested in knowing more about Randall Hardy in regards to specific legislation check out http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2019_20/members/sen_hardy_randall_1/ .