BUNKER HILL — State Rep. Troy Waymaster, R-Bunker Hill, announced Tuesday his bid for the U.S. Congress from the 1st District by declaring himself “ready to work with President Trump.”

The decision by U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, R-Great Bend, to pursue a seat in the U.S. Senate next year created a wide-open race in Kansas’ sprawling Congressional district. Former Kansas Lt. Gov. Tracey Mann, R-Salina, and Finney County Commissioner Bill Clifford, R-Garden City, jumped in the race in late summer to capture the GOP nomination for Congress in the August 2020 primary contest. Mann's campaign said Tuesday it had raised $256,297 since it started Sept. 9. No fundraising figures were available yet for the Clifford campaign. 

Waymaster, 42, was born in Russell and worked on the family farm, the campaign’s press release said. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Kansas and has managed small banks, the release said.

He entered the Kansas House of Representatives in 2013 and is chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. His 109th House District covers all or portions of Osborne, Russell, Smith, Barton, Jewell, Lincoln, and Rush counties.

Waymaster said he’s stood up for conservative values in the Kansas Legislature. "Unfortunately, in Washington, D.C., socialists like AOC (U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York) and (U.S. Speaker of the House) Nancy Pelosi are tearing our country apart, and I cannot sit by and watch that happen.”

“I’m ready to work with President Trump to defend our Christian values, protect the Second Amendment and the unborn, and make sure every small town in Kansas realizes the dream of rebuilding its Main Street. And as a farmer, I know how important it is to secure your property; that’s why I’ll fight to secure our border from illegal immigrants and build the wall to stop them from flooding into our country,” he said in the release.

A campaign video showed Waymaster working on the farm. It also pointed out he shares Russell as a hometown with former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole. 

Waymaster said he will “be a leader in opening up new markets for our goods, fighting tariffs that could hurt rural Kansans, and pushing for the full ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement so our farmers, ranchers, and businesses have a trade agreement that is more balanced and grows our economy.”

Waymaster and his wife, Crystal, have a son, Christian, born in 2018.