MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) — Democratic precinct leaders in Riley, Geary and Clay counties appointed Manhattan city commissioner Usha Reddi to the Kansas Senate Thursday evening. 

The appointment follows current Manhattan Senator Tom Hawk’s announcement last month that he is retiring from the Legislature.

“It’s been a very exciting night. I’m thrilled to represent Senate District 22,” said Reddi. “Senator Tom Hawk is an outstanding leader, and I’m sure I’ll be reaching out to him many times.”

Reddi has served on the Manhattan City Commission since 2013. During that period, she served twice as mayor. Previously, she was an educator in Manhattan-Ogden public schools, where she served a term as President of their National Education Association chapter. She holds Bachelor’s degrees in psychology and elementary education and earned her Master’s degree in educational leadership from Kansas State University.

“Many of us have known Usha in her capacity as a community leader for years now, and we look forward to bringing her into the fold when she joins us as a legislative colleague next week,” said Senate Democratic Leader Dinah Sykes. “We’re grateful that she has stepped up to represent the Manhattan community in this new capacity, and I’m eager to use her strengths in the Legislature to help move Kansas forward.”

Reddi will complete the remainder of Senator Tom Hawk’s term, which expires in 2025. Reddi’s committee assignments will be announced in the coming days.