SGA’s Bryan running for state office

Taylor Harrison

After serving WKU’s students since 2006, Kendrick Bryan, Student Government Association executive vice president, is looking to serve at the state level.

Bryan officially declared his candidacy for state representative last Friday.

Bryan is running as a self-funded Democrat for the House’s 25th district, which serves part of Hardin County. Bryan will face incumbent Jimmie Lee — who has served as a representative since 1993 — and Glenn Fonda.

“I’ve always wanted to serve in Frankfort,” Bryan said. “I thought it’d be a good idea to start my political career now, because later in life, I want to be in the classroom.”

He said he hopes to avoid campaign contributions, but may host one fundraiser.

One major issue Bryan said he wants to work on is transparency, by making voting records and budget outlines available to the public.

Bryan told his fellow SGA executive officers last Tuesday about his decision to run for office and said they were encouraging and optimistic.

Bryan has been in SGA since August 2006. He served one year as a senator, and in his junior year, he was a committee member. His senior year, he became executive vice president.

Cory Dodds, director of information technology for SGA, has worked with Bryan for two years. Dodds said he believes Bryan is well-prepared for service in state office.

“Any time he faces an issue or a problem, he approaches the issue with a creative mind and truly develops unique, creative solutions,” Dodds said.

Bryan’s understanding and work with budgetary concerns for SGA — though smaller than issues at the state level —will prove valuable in elected office, Dodds said.

Bryan has contributed to several SGA initiatives, including scholarships, free blue books and scantrons for students and library development efforts such as test prep books and iPads.

“Kendrick has always been an advocate for secondary education and higher education in the Commonwealth,” Dodds said. “Both of these subjects face problems that Kendrick can lend a unique viewpoint to from his work as a substitute teacher and as a graduate student.”

Bryan said he wants to help colleges and universities in regards to funding if elected.

While Bryan and Dodds haven’t spoken a lot about the campaign, they discussed the possibility of Dodds designing Bryan’s campaign website.

“I can’t speak for all of the SGA, but I believe that many people have seen the dedication that Kendrick brings to all of his work,” Dodds said. “Because of this, I think you’d find many people in the SGA who support his civic and political engagement.”

Katie Stillwell, chief of staff for SGA, said Bryan’s experience with the organization will be a strength for him, particularly because he’s had the chance to work with people with different ideologies.

Stillwell said it will be interesting to see how Bryan handles both SGA and running a campaign.

Dodds also said that since Bryan has just recently made his announcement, SGA hasn’t discussed how it will play a role. The topic could come up in future SGA meetings.

Bryan said he is going to run a very aggressive door-to-door and telephone campaign. He said he would love to have WKU students help with his campaign, and anyone who is interested can contact him through Facebook or email.