Dave Lindstrom, a former Kansas City Chiefs defensive end and lifelong businessman, stopped in Great Bend Monday as he makes his way back to the Kansas City area after announcing he is in the running to fill the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Senator Pat Roberts. Roberts announced earlier this year that he plans to retire at the end of this term, and will not be running in 2020.
Lindstrom noted he feels blessed to have had the opportunity to own his own business for 25 years after retiring from professional sports, all while living in Kansas.
“I think our lifestyle and quality of life, the cost of living here, is unmatched in the country, and I think that we need to take better advantage of that,” he said. “But I’m running for US Senate because I think the country is under attack.”
He pointed to three examples: socialism is being treated as a mainstream concept, border security is lacking, and the deficit continues to grow.
His background in professional sports has prepared him to take on tough fights, and his experience as a business owner and job creator as well as his leadership experience qualifies him to serve, he said.
Great Bend Chamber of Commerce Director Jan Peters stated Roberts leaves behind big shoes to fill, noting his focus on agriculture, and expressed her hope he would consider leadership in that key area.
Lindstrom is from Overland Park, where he serves as a Johnson County commissioner, and also as a chairman for the Kansas Turnpike Authority and the Kansas Leadership Center, and a trustee at Johnson County Community College. He expressed pride in the community where he lives, but said his decision to announce his candidacy in Goodland in July had purpose.
“I went to Goodland, Kansas, because I understand that ag in the state is 40 percent of our state economy,” he said. “So, if I am so fortunate to serve as a US Senator, that’s the committee I want to be on.”
Other committees he hopes to serve on would be the Committee on Transportation and Committee on Small Business.
Lindstrom is billing himself as a conservative advocate who is committed to building on President Donald Trump’s success and bringing a much-needed dose of Kansas values to Washington. The Tribune asked in what areas he supports the president most, and where he differs with him.
He prefaced his response with a reference to his 40 year marriage, noting that there are areas where he and his wife disagree, but they continue to stay married.
He said he supports Trump’s economic policies, including tariffs.
“This is the Kansas values that I talked about earlier,” he said. “Kansas farmers and ranchers are willing to suffer short term pain for long term gains, and the long term gain is simply we just want a level playing field.”
He supports Trump’s policies of national sovereignty, including a border wall and immigration policies that reward those who follow the rules. Where he disagrees with the President is on his style.
“His style is abrasive, and that’s not my style,” he said.
Barton County Commissioner Jim Daily was at the meet and greet. Lindstrom asked him what expectations he has of his next U.S. Senator.
Daily responded the area is desperate for industry, so some kind of immigration reform is needed to supply labor, and an improved highway system in western Kansas to attract business would help.
“Anything that we can do to improve our roadways system is going to enhance the ability to draw people and to draw industry to this area,” he said. He added bypasses are also needed to around business centers like Great Bend to lessen the impact of big trucks passing through.
Education and entrepreneurship were also talking points.