State Sen. Tom Hawk, of Manhattan, has announced he is retiring from public office, effective Jan. 10.
Hawk, who’s 22nd district encompasses Riley, Geary and Clay counties, including Manhattan and part of Junction City, says it’s something he’d been considering for a while, and became clear to him upon involvement with the Next Generation Under 30 program.
“It felt like it was a good time and a time to let somebody else have a chance at leadership and serving our district. It has been the second greatest honor of my life – the greatest being when I was selected to be a teacher at Manhattan Junior High,” he said.
Hawk, a Democrat, was elected to the State Senate in 2012, serving two full terms in the Senate and is currently midway through his third term. Prior to the Senate, Hawk served three terms in the Kansas House, serving the 67th district between 2005 and 2011 and also is a former Manhattan-Ogden superintendent. Hawk is the ranking member on the Senate Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Transportation. He also serves on the Utilities committee. His retirement concludes 51 years of public service.
“It’s incredible when you get to learn what people’s problems are and then you get to come up with some things that hopefully help solve those problems. It’s not always money, but money helps. I’ll be sad about that,” he said.
The 76-year-old says he intends to spend more time with his wife Diane. A replacement will be chosen by a process led by Riley County Democratic Party Chair Katie Allen. Sen. Hawk will no involvement in that process.