News Briefs

Former prosecutor, cop launches campaign for Kansas attorney general

By: - September 22, 2021 12:50 am
Lawrence attorney Chris Mann, a former prosecutor and police officer, entered the race for the Democratic Party's nomination for attorney general in Kansas. (Screen capture/Kansas Reflector)

Lawrence attorney Chris Mann, a former prosecutor and police officer, entered the race for the Democratic Party’s nomination for attorney general in Kansas. (Screen capture/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — Lawrence attorney and former police officer Chris Mann is the first Democrat to launch a campaign for the party’s nomination for Kansas attorney general.

Mann, who operates a private practice, worked as a police officer until struck by a drunk driver in 2002. He earned a law degree in 2010 from Washburn University and served as a prosecutor in the Wyandotte County District Attorney’s office and as a staff attorney at the Kansas Securities Commission.

He served as national board chairman of Mothers Against Drunk Driving and was integral to passage of a Kansas law a decade ago requiring DUI offenders to have ignition locks installed in their vehicles.

Republican candidates seeking to replace Attorney General Derek Schmidt, who is running for governor in 2022, include former Secretary of State Kris Kobach of rural Lecompton, state Sen. Kellie Warren of Lenexa and former federal prosecutor Tony Mattivi of Topeka.

“In times like these, families need a champion in their corner. Not a politician, but a law enforcement officer focused on keeping people safe,” Mann said in a statement Tuesday. “Someone who will ignore politics and focus on the rule of law and standing up for Kansans.”

Mann was a member of the Lawrence Police Department when his career in uniform ended at age 25 after a drunk driver collided with his patrol car during a traffic stop.

“For years, I fought to heal, but I was ultimately forced to start over,” he said. “With much reflection, along with the help of my faith and family, I realized I could still serve the public, just in the courtroom instead.”

He earned a law degree and prosecuted cases in Wyandotte County including DUIs and homicides. He was at the securities commission until opening a private practice five years ago.

He was on the MADD national board of directors from 2014 to 2020. The process of serving with MADD helped his healing process and compelled him to work toward legal reform of DUI statutes to stop offenders from hurting families and to support victims of accidents, he said.

“I’ve been a police officer, the victim and survivor of crime, a prosecutor and a private attorney,” Mann said. “I will bring a different set of experiences to this office at a pivotal time.”

He is married to Ashley Mann, a surgeon in Topeka. They live in Lawrence with their two children.

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Tim Carpenter
Tim Carpenter

Tim Carpenter has reported on Kansas for 35 years. He covered the Capitol for 16 years at the Topeka Capital-Journal and previously worked for the Lawrence Journal-World and United Press International. He has been recognized for investigative reporting on Kansas government and politics. He won the Kansas Press Association's Victor Murdock Award six times. The William Allen White Foundation honored him four times with its Burton Marvin News Enterprise Award. The Kansas City Press Club twice presented him its Journalist of the Year Award and more recently its Lifetime Achievement Award. He earned an agriculture degree at Kansas State University and grew up on a small dairy and beef cattle farm in Missouri. He is an amateur woodworker and drives Studebaker cars.

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