KWCH Voter Bio Submission: 

On Fri, 11 Feb 2011 14:57:14 -0600, wrote:

I am gathering candidate information to be included in our Campaign 2011 section of our website. Would you provide me with a short bio and a photograph that we could use?


Kevin Hager

Howdy, Kevin–

I grew up in town founded by Quakers who named the town “Peace.” — it was later renamed, and Sterling, Kansas was where I attended kindergarten with most of the same people with which I graduated high school. I attended St. John’s College in Santa Fe, NM to study the “Great Books” and then continued my education at WSU, studying Linguistics, Entrepreneurship, Literature and Psychology. I actually spent more time in the library, rather than irritating the drone of the professors with the brutality of my critique, or a question he or she was ill-prepared to answer. Ablah library was nearly worth the cost of tuition, and learning some steel pan, piano and poetics have earned me my dearest friends.

In 1994 I stumbled into an accidental career in technical theater, specializing in scenic carpentry, stage and arena rigging, and as a flyman. Nearly every major show that has come through Century II, the Coliseum, and now the new Arena, I have been involved with to some degree, most lately as the head rigger for IA Local 190. I also service and install counterweight systems in theaters all over the area. I own a “This Old House” home here in Wichita and have been a resident for the last seventeen years. Although my work schedule is generally pretty sparse, and although Wichita is below the national average, I like to tell people that I actually work in the highest-paying blue-collar job there is. But I’m not working Carnegie Hall. . .yet.

Although I admit this is not the sort of job that one would expect would prepare someone to become Mayor of Wichita, it is precisely the sort of job that I feel has put me in a superb position to observe the machinations of my city from behind the scenes, and has given me ample time to continue educating myself in the ways of government and politics. I make between $25-$30K a year, and that has generally been enough. I’m not motivated by money. I’m motivated by maximizing my personal freedom to pursue my dreams. I look forward to mixing up the tired, old ways we’ve done politics locally with a fresh slate of compelling proposals, electrifying democracy, and fearlessly advocating on behalf of the People of Wichita on our all-but-captured City Council.

Ambition is only worthwhile when it is backed with preparedness. I have spent most my time since I can remember pretending that one day I would be president, so I’d better get as prepared and smart as I can, in case of that eventuality. Actually, I might like to settle for being vice-president to the first female president of the United States, in my little useful fiction. When I look around this city, that position at the city level is most like Mayor. I would think it no greater honor than to serve as the People’s representative on the City Council. In an oddity of disclosure, my next run would be Governor against Brownback (I would presume). I would love to let Wichita share in my improbable dream.

My candidacy is an effort to break the mold of what a politician can be, and how a Mayor, now elected at-large, should be the representative of the people. I have signed an affidavit that I will neither accept nor spend more than $500 total in my campaign for Mayor of Wichita. Although there may be groups with which I have a bit of affinity towards, I am not an active member of any political group, nor do I have any intention of garnering any endorsements other than from people I know, and the only power I am interested in is standing up for the People of Wichita. If elected, I will serve only one term as Mayor, and hope that my example will ignite a new generation of political and social energy to help our City excel into the future, rather than be held hostage by well-connected interests and marketeered master plans.

The patron saint of my campaign is R. Buckminster Fuller, a former Wichitan and self-proclaimed “political agnostic,” who spent his life as an experiment of how much of a difference in the world one person could make. He believed, as do I, that we have the technology and resources to live more abundant lives with fewer resources. One quote of many that has influenced me was “You can’t change people, but you can change their environment.”

We are at a moment of great opportunity and great peril, and regardless how well the old guard is perceived to have done to this point, the status quo will certainly hobble this City if we do not comprehend the dangers the economy, among other things, will continue to bring. We should be concentrating on building a durable local economy that can withstand the economic turmoil we have entered into.

Drafts of my answers to the Eagle Voters Guide if you would like to take a peek:

My announcement is at:

I made my facebook as unedited and public as I could:

Send a friend request on facebook, if you like. Interview the people who have known me closest and longest.

Blog with open, anonymous commenting:


Scott Thode

//><\ — Vote for Scott, March 1st, to be Mayor of Wichita.