Wichita native Laura Lombard will run as a Democrat for Rep. Mike Pompeo’s seat in Congress.
Pompeo has been nominated by President-elect Donald Trump to lead the Central Intelligence Agency.
Lombard, 32, is the director and founder of MENA Consultants in Washington, D.C., which focuses on helping companies in the U.S. export their products.
Lombard said she has no prior political experience but has worked with high-level government officials in her consultant work.
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“Like many, I’ve been very worried and disturbed about what’s happening politically both on the state level and national level,” she said. “After this last election, I felt like it was time to get into politics and try to make a difference in the direction we’re heading.”
She wants to focus on job creation and education if elected.
“One of the things I would love to do is make the Wichita area the center of advanced manufacturing for the country by bringing in new clean technology companies,” Lombard said.
Lombard grew up in Wichita and attended The Independent School. She received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in international relations and economics from Johns Hopkins.
Lombard is a fifth-generation Kansan and third-generation Kansas Jayhawk, she said. Although she has lived in D.C. for the past several years, she said she recently re-established her Kansas residency.
Lombard previously worked as a consultant for The Cohen Group, which was founded by former Secretary of Defense William Cohen. She is a member of the Association of Women in International Trade.
The Republican and Democratic 4th District committees will select nominees to run for the congressional seat. A bill being considered by the Legislature also would pave the way for a Libertarian and possibly independent candidates in the race to replace Pompeo.