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Morning Sun
  • CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRES: State Senate, District 13

  • The Morning Sun has asked candidates in contested races to answer a series of questions. They were instructed to limit their responses to 50 words each on the open-form questions. The answers erroneously ran unedited to the 50-word limit in the Morning Sun. The answers here have been edited to meet the 50-word limit. T...
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  • The Morning Sun has asked candidates in contested races to answer a series of questions. They were instructed to limit their responses to 50 words each on the open-form questions. The answers erroneously ran unedited to the 50-word limit in the Morning Sun. The answers here have been edited to meet the 50-word limit. Today’s candidates are for Kansas State Senate, District 13. Bob Marshall and Jake LaTurner are competing in the Republican primary Aug. 7 to battle Democrat Gene Garman in the general election in November. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order.
    Gene Garman
    Pittsburg
    Democrat
    Why are you running for office?
    It is past time to address poverty in Southeast Kansas, but as long as the legislature is controlled by Republicans, raising the state minimum wage to a decent living wage is a mirage. There is no evidence the Republicans will provide assistance or adequate social service for the poor and needy.
    What is the biggest challenge facing your position, and what would you do about it?
    The first legislation I would introduce  would be to increase the state minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.25 per hour, which, realistically, is still a poverty-level wage and does not provide sufficient income with which to adequately provide for a family, even if both parents work.
    What is the biggest area of growth facing your position, and how would you capitalize upon it?
    My life experience and formal education have impressed upon me the responsibility to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. The need to fully fund public education and social services for the poor and needy among us is the right and the American thing to do.
    Southeast Kansas and Crawford County are among the most economically depressed counties in the state. What would you do to try to tackle the issue of poverty in the region?
    A poverty of imagination in the state legislature, coupled with ideological rigidity, keeps Kansas limping along economically at both the state and local levels of government. Improve the lives of local residents in each community and the entire state benefits.
    What sets you apart from your competition? In essence, why should voters choose you?
    I was born and grew up on a farm with an outhouse downstream from a hand-dug well. I also hold a Master of Divinity degree. I am retired from the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters, which has a Frontenac office, and the National Association of Letter Carriers, Pittsburg.
    Jake LaTurner
    Pittsburg
    Republican
    Why are you running for office?
    I am running because I believe I can make a difference. The situation is improving for much of the state but Southeast Kansas lags behind. I believe that my experience working with local, state and federal agencies in Jenkins' office I have gained the experience necessary to get the job done.
    Page 2 of 3 - What is the biggest challenge facing your board/chamber/position, and what would you do about it?
    The biggest challenge is how to get the economy up and running again. The best way to get the Kansas economy going again is to be more competitive with other states. We need to give businesses a reason to come and stay in Kansas.
    What is the biggest area of growth facing your position, and how would you capitalize upon it?
    This question was not answered.
    Southeast Kansas and Crawford County are among the most economically depressed counties in the state. What would you do to try to tackle the issue of poverty in the region?
    Jobs are my top priority and the engine that drives an economy. I will work to make Southeast Kansas competitive with Missouri and Oklahoma. I will introduce a border county gas tax waiver that will give relief to the 13th district. I will support a property tax cap in Topeka.
    What sets you apart from your competition? In essence, why should voters choose you?
    I am for competitive taxes that will grow the economy, and that’s why I'm endorsed by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce. I'm pro-life, and that’s why I'm endorsed by Kansans for Life. I'm a supporter of the 2nd amendment, and that is why I'm endorsed by the NRA.
    Bob Marshall
    Fort Scott
    Republican
    Why are you running for office?
    I am continuing to reach our original goal of completing US Hwy 69, four lane, all the way from KC Area to I 44 in OK.  With the hope this would improve the JOBS situation in SE KS by promoting Economic Development in our area.
     
    What is the biggest challenge facing your position, and what would you do about it?
    Our biggest problem is the lack of good-paying jobs for our constituents. We need businesses to come provide jobs for our citizens. We must have an infrastructure that promotes attracting businesses. Project 17, which I helped create, is working to address the economic development problem through a regional approach.
     
    What is the biggest area of growth facing your position. and how would you capitalize upon it?
    Probably workforce development.  By assisting K – 12, Colleges, Community Colleges, and Tech Schools to be more pro-active in the Career Education programs available to students.  And by making the Career Tech Education more desirable for our students.
     
    Southeast Kansas and Crawford County are among the most economically depressed counties in the state.  What would you do to try to tackle the issue of poverty in the region?
    Page 3 of 3 - Our efforts through Project 17, which included the health of our citizens and workforce development on a regional approach. This effort will help our citizens to be healthy enough to work and create the career training they need to qualify for a job that could provide for their financial needs.
     
    What sets you apart from your competition? In essence, why should voters choose you?
    My qualities have been demonstrated through a lifetime of leadership. I served the past four years on the Transportation Committee and helped craft T- Works, which will put over $10B into the economy and produce over 175,000 jobs, and my work on the Education Committee protecting our schools.
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