Former TV meteorologist Mike Thompson to run for Pilcher-Cook’s seat in Kansas Senate

Former WDAF meteorologist Mike Thompson, seen serving as emcee of the Old Shawnee Days parade, is seeking a seat in the statehouse.

Mike Thompson, the longtime Kansas City television meteorologist, today announced he is seeking the District 10 seat in the Kansas Senate being vacated by Mary Pilcher-Cook, who announced Friday she will step down in January.

In an announcement today, Thompson, a Republican, said that he plans to seek both an appointment to fill the remainder of Pilcher-Cook’s term as well as election to a full four year term in November 2020.

Thompson describes himself as a “pro-life, committed conservative, who will uphold the core Republican principles of limited government, individual liberty, free enterprise, and traditional values.”

“For 40 years, I enjoyed talking to people about the weather, providing them facts and information and warning them about dangerous conditions,” he said in a release. “Now, an unrelenting storm of higher taxes and spending increases threaten to leave Kansas behind the rest of the nation in terms of economic prosperity and quality job growth. For Kansans to feel confident about their economic future and the security of their pocketbook, these skies must clear and that means a legislature who is firmly on the side of the people who pay the bills.”

Thompson is the third candidate to announce candidacy for the seat in the 2020 cycle. He’ll face Rep. Tom Cox in a primary for the Republican nomination. Shawnee Councilwoman Lindsey Constance has announced she is running for the seat as a Democrat.

Thompson has lived in Shawnee since 1983. He and his wife Anne are members of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. The couple have three children and ten grandchildren. Thompson studied meteorology in the U.S. Navy. He spent time as the chief meteorologist at both KCTV and WDAF. After retiring from WDAF, he started an organization called the Academy for Climate and Energy Analysis. He’s given presentations to area groups in recent months on climate issues, including a talk entitled “The Politics of Climate Change in the Era of Trump” before the Johnson County Republican Party in October.

Thompson was among the Shawnee residents to voice objection to the proposed non-discrimination ordinance that was ultimately passed by the city council when it came up for public discussion this fall. Thompson said he was disappointed by the council’s vote to adopt the NDO.

“I felt like they dismissed the argument that it does usurp some religious rights of certain groups and ignore that aspect of it,” Thompson said after the vote. “I think there’s a misunderstanding among many groups that we harbor resentment toward them. That’s not the case at all. It’s just protection of religious beliefs is very, very important.”