Salinan Tom Bell has filed to run for the state legislature. Bell will run as a Republican for the 71st District seat currently held by Diana Dierks.
Bell released a statement saying “East Salina and northeast Saline County need more than a vote. We need a representative who will be an advocate for bringing jobs to our community, grow our economy and defend life. I’m running to bring experience running a business and managing budgets to the Kansas House.”
Bell is executive director of governmental and public relations at Salina Regional Health Center, a position he has held for two years. If elected, He will remain in that job while serving in the Legislature but will go part time or take a leave of absence from Salina Regional during the session and on days involving state business.
Before joining Salina Regional, Bell was editor and publisher of the Salina Journal, a position he held for more than 14 years. He was with the parent company for 32 years, and in management positions for 25 years.
Bell’s community service includes: Member and former chair of the Salina Regional Health Center Board of Trustees; member and former chair of the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; member and former chair of the Salina Downtown, Inc. Board of Directors; member of the board of the Stiefel Theatre of the Performing Arts; and member of the board of St. John’s Military School.
In 2012, Bell was named one of “50 Kansans You Should Know” by Ingram’s, a Kansas City business magazine.
Some of Bell’s other activities include: member of the Kansas State University Journalism Advisory Council; trustee of the William Allen White Foundation at the University of Kansas; and membership in Salina Rotary and the Salina AMBUCS Breakfast Bandits. He and his wife, Roxanne, are lay ministers at St. Mary Queen of the Universe Catholic Church and previously served as coordinators of Genesis, a church youth group. They are former state licensed foster parents.
Bell earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Kansas State University and a Masters of Business Administration at Kansas Wesleyan University. He and his wife, Roxanne, have two adult children: Austin, Kansas City, and Jennifer, Salina.