TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Chris Mann, a Lawrence Democrat, officially entered the Kansas Attorneys General race on Thursday.

Mann, a former police officer and prosecutor, spoke with reporters outside the Secretary of State’s Office after filing. He said he’s focusing on steering away from politics.

“The focus of that office needs to be not getting distracted by any political ventures, but rather focused on public safety focused on the people of Kansas,” Mann said.

Mann is the first Democrat to throw his hat in the ring to become the state’s next attorney general. Current Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is running for governor this year.

Mann referenced actions taken during Schmidt’s term as attorney general as an example of “politics” infiltrating the office. Schmidt joined a lawsuit challenging presidential election results in 2020.

“Whenever someone files a lawsuit against the federal government for an election, for example … the past election … you’re getting distracted by the politics,” Mann said.

While Mann is the only democrat that’s entered the race as of Thursday, several Republican candidates are already preparing to face off in the GOP primary. Republican candidate Tony Mattivi, a longtime federal prosecutor, also filed Thursday.

Mattivi is a retired Assistant United States Attorney and the Antiterrorism and National Security Coordinator for the District of Kansas. Kris Kobach, former Kansas Secretary of State and Republican gubernatorial candidate have also entered the race alongside Kellie Warren, an attorney and Republican senator from Leawood who is also in the running to become attorney general.

The filing deadline for statewide offices is June 1. Then, the Primary Election will be on August 2.