I hope you have time to review my stance on the issues below.  In the weeks and months ahead, I hope social gatherings will become more accommodating and will have the chance for discussions with the voters across the 64th District.  Until then feel free to contact me if you need additional information, or have questions regarding an issue not covered below.

Issues
Medicaid Expansion

Medicaid Expansion will be one of my major areas of focus when I am elected to represent you in the legislature.  For too many years, this issue has been the victim of partisan and personal games among legislators.  It is time for bickering to stop and action taken.

If you are among the 69% of Kansas voters who support this issue, then I am asking for your vote.  While others claim to support Medicaid Expansion, I will vote every time to bring this necessary program to Kansas.  It will help over 100,000 low income residents, provide a much needed safety net for our rural hospitals, and bring over $1 billion in taxes back into our state.

Agriculture

Agriculture is the backbone of the Kansas and the 64th District economy.  One of the main reasons I am running for office is to make sure the voices of farmers are heard in Topeka.

While contemplating this run, I began actively following issues before the legislature.  I have been shocked at the lack of action on behalf of Kansas farmers by its elected officials.  Whether it means reviewing our water rights, working to prevent erosion and flood control, or a necessary meat labeling bill; I will fight everyday in office for the farmers from the 64th district and the state of Kansas.  This district deserves to have someone who knows the challenges our farmers and ranchers face to represent them in Topeka.  If you are concerned about the current and future generations of Kansas farmers, then I ask you to support my candidacy.

Transparency

While this issue is often overlooked, nothing is more important than open and honest governance from those selected to represent us at all levels of government.  When beginning this run, I was shocked how difficult it is to review the votes of legislators especially in committee meetings.  I believe every vote should be a recorded vote.  Every committee meeting should be open to the public in person and online.

If you vote for me as your Representative, I will only support rules that are 100% transparent.  I will also be publishing my votes immediately online through social media, so you can always see the work I am doing on your behalf in Topeka.

Education

Like many families across this state, mine was recently impacted by the closing of schools to protect students and educators from the COVID-19 pandemic.  While we were fortunate that several family members were able to work from home and continue the education of my grandson, not all were so lucky.  It also provided a chance to reflect on the amazing work public school teachers do for the children of Kansas.  I found a new level of respect for those who choose to make teaching their profession.


Education funding has been the subject of numerous political and legal battles for years.  While I have concerns on "blank check" funding for any program, we must fund our public schools properly.  We can have oversight and cost-benefit analysis, but we cannot continue asking teachers to supply their classrooms out of their own pockets.

We must also remember that not all school employees are teachers.  I was dismayed this legislative session watching the House vote down the ability of school bus drivers, paras, and others to collect unemployment benefits during this time of economic uncertainty.

Funding must also be available for the array of post-secondary institutions across the state.  Not just the major 4-year universities, but also the community, technical, and vocational schools; and programs like the Flint Hills Job Corps Center.  If we fail to provide adequate funding for our educational institutions, our children and grandchildren will quickly become ill-equipped to deal with the changing economic marketplace.

Energy

Energy will become an ever increasing matter for our state in the coming years.  The issues range from the future of wind power, methods to safely extract oil and gas from the many wells across Kansas, the rates we pay for usage dominated largely by one corporation, and the updating and maintenance of our electrical grid.  Now is not the time for political games to be played regarding an issue that affects everyone's daily life.

I was disappointed earlier this year when the Kansas House of Representatives voted down a measure to put the future of Kansas Energy in the hands of an independent office, rather than one dominated by corporate interests.  The debate on the floor was more about partisan advantage than what was best for working Kansans.  At no point will my vote be determined by legislative leaders from Sedgwick and Johnson counties.  I will be making my decision on what is best for the people and farmers of the 64th district alone.

Taxes

Taxes.  No one likes to pay them, but politicians love to spend them.  Until recently, this state suffered from a ideologically driven experiment with taxes.  From the effects on our state agencies, our roads, and our schools, I think we can all agree this failed miserably.

We must keep a balanced approach to taxation in this state through sales, income, and property taxes.  Especially when it comes to property taxes.  We cannot let farmers and ranchers continue to face ever increasing tax levels on ground when commodity prices are falling.  This will dramatically impact the current and future generations of Kansans to continue our agricultural tradition.

During this time of economic uncertainty, I will not be pushing for new spending programs, but rather working to ensure our tax dollars are spent in the most effective manner possible.  I will never vote for tax increases without broad support from across the 64th district.

COVID-19

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus and the resulting COVID-19 disease has forever altered our lives, our jobs, and this campaign.  Like many of you, a lot of our friends have been infected and quarantined because of exposure.  While our direct family has avoided infection to this point, the 64th district has not been as lucky.  While Clay County has seen very limited cases and few deaths, Riley County is in the midst of a spike.  We must all remain cautious until our health system develops effective treatments and hopefully a vaccine.  Until then I urge everyone to take appropriate measures to protect your family, friends, neighbors, and yourselves.

No one liked the weeks of economic limitations across the state of Kansas. Like many of you, my small business and our farm was forced to adapt, we missed out on dozens of events, and lost much due to the shutdown.  

However, if you elect me to represent the 64th district I would take a different path from the current crop of legislators in Topeka.  Rather than adjourn an already limited session, I would vote to stay and provide constituent services and legislative oversight for executive power.  I would not run away, only to return and complain about actions taken in my absence. 

Equality

Like everyone else I was disturbed with the gruesome video deaths of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery.  These are not the only instances of racial violence, just the two most extreme cases.  This issue underscores a need for a real discussion about race, policing tactics, and civility in our society today.

While we often are insulated from national events in our more rural community, we have sadly not escaped this issue.  Clay Center recently saw multiple incidents of racially motivated, hate graffiti on public and private buildings.  This type of behavior should have no place in our society today.  While I was proud of the residents who showed up to signal disapproval and help our neighbors clean up the mess caused, there is more to be done.

Whether it is a work issue, a service issue, an education, or just everyday life; no one should face discrimination based on the color of their skin, straight or gay, or those with a disability.  Everyone is equal!  I ask for your vote to work on issues that will unite our community, as we came together during the COVID crisis, rather than push issues of hate and division. We need to ignore the message of hate on the news and the internet, and instead come together as an empathetic community that treats everyone with respect.

These issues are not meant to limiting, nor all encompassing.  This is a campaign of ideas and discussion, but these 8 issues have been ones of political bickering for too long.  There are too many problems facing the people of the 64th District and the state of Kansas.  I am asking you for your vote to bring common sense and reality back to governance.  We need to turn against partisanship and ideology, and work for a plan that allows the people and state to meet the challenges of the future.  If there are issues not listed that directly impact you, please reach out to me.  If it matters to you, it will matter to me.


Thank you for your support!