"Coffee shop tour" kicks off at Daylight Donuts in Columbus

COLUMBUS - A state politician has set her sights on Washington, D.C., and chose a local coffee shop to make that proclamation official. State Senator Caryn Tyson announced her candidacy for Congress Thursday morning, at Daylight Donuts in Columbus.

It was the first stop in what she described as a "coffee shop tour".

"What we're doing today is going out for a chance to visit with locals, and hear what their concerns and issues are," Sen. Tyson said.

Tyson is a Republican who currently represents the 12th District in the Kansas State Senate. She is running for Kansas' second congressional district in the 2018 election; for a seat that will be vacated when Rep. Lynn Jenkins finishes her term. Rep. Jenkins announced earlier this year that she would not run for reelection at the conclusion of this Congress.

Tyson said the idea of running for congress wasn't even on her radar until friends and family encouraged her to run after Jenkins announced she was stepping down. Both Caryn and her husband Tim are fifth generation Kansans. Together they own and operate a cattle ranch, Tyson Ranch. If elected, she said they have no plans to move to Washington, D.C., and she will be home every weekend if possible.

Tyson has been representing the 12th District since 2013. Previously she was a member of the Kansas House of Representatives, representing District 4 from 2011 to 2013. Before her time as a state politician, she spent over two decades working in the IT industry field. Her work included space shuttle support for NASA where she received multiple awards for achievement and teamwork.

Tyson said that aside from her deep roots in the state, her diverse background lends her a unique perspective on the people of Kansas, and what she sees as an opportunity to bring new jobs to the state.

"Kansans have a great work ethic, great values, and greater people," Tyson said. so let's capitalize on that. There's no reason that we can't have people telecommuting on multi-million dollar projects or Mom and Pop startup websites doing business worldwide. We could be doing all that from Kansas."

Aside from bringing jobs into Kansas, Tyson plans to address issues such as taxes, healthcare, and infrastructure. She said she is greatly in favor of repealing Obamacare. When asked if she was hoping to get Rep. Jenkins' endorsement, Tyson said she hadn't thought about endorsements yet.

"My endorsement that I'm seeking right now is from the voters and the constituents of the second district," Sen. Tyson said.