As a child, Logan Heley remembers being pulled out of school by his parents to engage in the political process. He often volunteered with his parents on long campaigns before following them to the ballot box where they cast their votes.
But this election season, Heley’s parents will have the opportunity to vote for their son.
In January, Heley announced his candidacy for the 21st Kansas State Senate District, which includes portions of Heley’s hometown, Overland Park.
Heley left Overland Park in 2011 to attend USC, where he was active in Undergraduate Student Government, the Joint Educational Project and the Sigma Nu fraternity. He graduated in 2015 with degrees in journalism and history.
After leaving Los Angeles, Heley completed an internship at the White House’s press office before returning to Kansas. Closely following the events in his hometown — including the elections of Governor Sam Brownback and incumbent Senator Greg Smith — Heley jumped into the race to challenge Smith’s bid for a second term.
“I didn’t like the direction that my home state was heading [in] and felt that it was important for me to come back and try to get our state back on the right track and moving forward,” Heley said.
Throughout his time in USG, Heley was involved in a multi-year effort to convince university administration to provide gender-neutral housing on campus.
Those efforts culminated after Heley had finished his term as a Greek Senator. In April 2014, then-USG Vice President Rini Sampath and Senator Brianna Thorpe introduced a resolution to support gender-neutral housing that was passed unanimously.
“USC is behind a lot of other comparable universities on gender-neutral housing, and it’s about time we as a Trojan Family make our home comfortable for all students,” Heley said when the resolution was passed.
Now, Heley is campaigning on issues such as fiscal stability, job growth and education for an entire state.
Heley’s campaign has been met with the support of various local officials and past officeholders, including former Congressman Dennis Moore.
“When I retired I said a new generation of leadership would lead Kansas in the future, and Logan is part of that generation,” Moore said in an endorsement statement for Heley’s campaign.
As the campaign season heats up, Heley expects to face opposition to his candidacy over issues such as his youth. However, Heley encourages others his age to run for office and participate in politics.
“I think that young people should be encouraged to go and run for office,” Heley said. “I really believe that it is going to take young people to win back my state specifically, [and] I think my age is an advantage, personally.”
Beyond Kansas, Heley has received considerable support — financial and personal — from generations of USC Trojans.
“They talk about the Trojan Family at every event possible at USC, and it really is the case,” Heley said.
Those interested in participating in or to contributing Heley’s campaign can find his Facebook page or visit his website, loganheley.com.
“I am the underdog, but it’s a race that we can win,” Heley said.