WICHITA — He has more businesses to keep him occupied than the average 10 people combined, but Wink Hartman Sr. is once again considering a run for office.
"The model that we've lived by for so many years is broken in Congress," says the oilman, who also is a restaurateur, among other things. "The bickering (has) deteriorated to name calling, which has deteriorated into the inability of either party doing something for the citizenry that they were elected to do."
Hartman lost a blistering campaign for the 4th Congressional District in 2010.
"When I ran for District 4 in 2010, as many people remember it was unpleasant banter amongst the candidates," Hartman says. "But yet I have learned in life that a lot of things that need to get done, there's no easy path, and if I have to take a few hits and a few slaps along the way, I'm ... more than willing to do that."
He's not saying if he's going to run or what office he may seek.
"I'm not saying I'm going to do it, but it is under consideration," Hartman says.
"I have a rather large expanse of interest politically," he says. "My number one goal is to improve ... the quality of life not only in District 4 of Kansas, but in the state of Kansas and hopefully affect some change nationally if the proper people are elected in Kansas. ... In my life, I've been fortunate and been very successful at a multitude of businesses, but at the end of the day, the people of this state have earned the right to have qualified elected officials, and in my view, there are multiple areas where that is not the fact."
Hartman says others have approached him about running, but he says it's all about finding the right person for each office. That may not be him, Hartman says.
"It is incumbent upon people like myself and many others to put the best slate of Kansas possibilities for the voters to make a selection."
He plans to do some polling to explore possibilities.
So why not be content to reign over his own business kingdom and let someone else fight political battles?
"History tells us that that attitude is one of the many problems that we now suffer at different levels of government," Hartman says. "The kingdom attitude, the swing back at your opponent, the name calling, the inability to come to a consensus."