By Amy Houston
State Rep. Joe Edwards, R-Haysville, died at his home Tuesday evening. According to a message on the Kansas House GOP Twitter account, he died of a suspected heart attack.
Edwards, 59, represented District 93 for two years in the Kansas Legislature. He lost a bid for re-election in the Aug. 5 primary.
Edwards, a former Assembly of God pastor, retired as the owner of J&S Towing. He and his wife, Sally, had four children and three grandchildren.
Former U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard, said he was knocking on doors during his campaign for Kansas Senate in the early 1990s when he first met Edwards.
“He invited me into his house,” Tiahrt recalled. “He was a very kind man. I think he just wanted to be a public servant as a second career.”
Edwards told the Haysville Sun-Times last month that he was an occasional preacher at churches and revivals, but he was seeking a second term in office because he had enjoyed his work in Topeka.
“I like seeing things accomplished and getting things done,” he said. “The two years I’ve been in there have been real good. I’ve had a lot of fun working with other people in getting bills drafted and done – makes life in Kansas better.”
Although the Legislature is not in session, Edwards would have remained in office until the January 2015 swearing-in ceremony for the new 93rd District representative.
Like many Tuesday night, Tiahrt expressed sympathy to the Edwards family.
“We’ll keep them in our thoughts and prayers,” he said, “and I hope the rest of Kansas will, too.”