Manhattan’s own Usha Reddi is running for the U.S. Senate. We’d like to wish her well. Ms. Reddi, who has served on the Manhattan City Commission since 2013, is by trade a schoolteacher at Ogden Elementary. She’s on a leave of absence this school year to campaign. She formally announced her candidacy Wednesday. She’s running as a little-known Democrat in a crowded field, in a state that hasn’t elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1932. Other Democrats running include Barry Grissom, a former federal prosecutor, and Nancy Boyda, a former member of Congress. They both have far more statewide name recognition. There are also several Republicans running, but let’s set that aside for the moment. The first question is: Can Commissioner Reddi win the primary next August? She has certainly built a good, practical record of success here in Manhattan. The City Commission is a nonpartisan body, dealing with nuts-and-bolts issues like parking garages, sewer systems and disc golf courses. Commissioner Reddi has generally worked well with others and made practical compromises to get things done. That’s exactly the kind of approach needed in Congress. She has also championed some causes, saying that her proudest accomplishments include the creation of an ordinance to prevent discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, and the creation of a mental health stabilization center. Exactly how she will approach major national issues remains to be seen, and that is of course very important. If elected, she would be the first Hindu in Congress, and the first woman of color from Kansas in the Senate. She recently revealed that she had been raped as a young person by her own father; he pleaded guilty in Ohio. Those things, of course, help define her and will give her some notoriety in a race where identity factors like those are somehow more important than they are on the City Commission. That stuff doesn’t matter all that much in a local race, which we tend to prefer, but national partisan politics are what they are. Can she win? Of course she can. Will she? It’s an uphill battle, and we can’t predict. If she does, that would be two Manhattan residents in the Senate, which has to be enormously helpful to our community. Sen. Jerry Moran lives here, as you probably know. So whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, if you’re a Manhattanite, you ought to root for Commissioner Reddi at this stage. Good luck. Go get ‘em.

Manhattan’s own Usha Reddi is running for the U.S. Senate. We’d like to wish her well.

Ms. Reddi, who has served on the Manhattan City Commission since 2013, is by trade a schoolteacher at Ogden Elementary. She’s on a leave of absence this school year to campaign. She formally announced her candidacy Wednesday.

She’s running as a little-known Democrat in a crowded field, in a state that hasn’t elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1932. Other Democrats running include Barry Grissom, a former federal prosecutor, and Nancy Boyda, a former member of Congress. They both have far more statewide name recognition. There are also several Republicans running, but let’s set that aside for the moment. The first question is: Can Commissioner Reddi win the primary next August?

She has certainly built a good, practical record of success here in Manhattan. The City Commission is a nonpartisan body, dealing with nuts-and-bolts issues like parking garages, sewer systems and disc golf courses. Commissioner Reddi has generally worked well with others and made practical compromises to get things done. That’s exactly the kind of approach needed in Congress.

She has also championed some causes, saying that her proudest accomplishments include the creation of an ordinance to prevent discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, and the creation of a mental health stabilization center. Exactly how she will approach major national issues remains to be seen, and that is of course very important.

If elected, she would be the first Hindu in Congress, and the first woman of color from Kansas in the Senate. She recently revealed that she had been raped as a young person by her own father; he pleaded guilty in Ohio.

Those things, of course, help define her and will give her some notoriety in a race where identity factors like those are somehow more important than they are on the City Commission. That stuff doesn’t matter all that much in a local race, which we tend to prefer, but national partisan politics are what they are.

Can she win? Of course she can. Will she? It’s an uphill battle, and we can’t predict.

If she does, that would be two Manhattan residents in the Senate, which has to be enormously helpful to our community. Sen. Jerry Moran lives here, as you probably know.

So whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, if you’re a Manhattanite, you ought to root for Commissioner Reddi at this stage.

Good luck. Go get ’em.

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