Wink Hartman is a businessman and a Republican candidate for governor. In this Q5, he explains why is seeking the state's top seat.
Wink Hartman is a businessman and a Republican candidate for governor. In this Q5, he explains why is seeking the state’s top seat.
1. Wink why do you want to be governor of Kansas? What initially attracted you to government leadership?
I want to be governor because I want to make this state the best place to live, work, and grow a family for the next generation of Kansans. For me, this isn’t about a title. I’m not looking for a fancy new office or a new nameplate on the door. Kansas has problems- taxes are too high, school finance is unstable, and Topeka lacks effective leadership. I was inclined to run for governor to solve those problems with steady, conservative leadership that the career politicians who created these problems lack.
2. With a recent poll (Fort Hays State University’s Docking Institute for Public Affairs) showing that nearly two-thirds of Kansans think that their state is on the wrong track, what are your goals for ‘getting Kansas back on track’ if you become governor?
Kansans have good reasons to believe their state is on the wrong track. After a $1.2 billion tax increase, record-breaking legislative sessions, and the Supreme Court turning school finance into a political football, it’s no wonder so many Kansans don’t think we are headed in the right direction. I agree with them, and that’s why I’m running for governor. To get Kansas on the right track, we need a stable, business-friendly tax code that will attract employers to our state and keep current jobs here. The state needs to run in a fiscally responsible way, which means no more spending money we don’t have or raiding highway funds to slide by. That means finding efficiencies where we can, and eliminating unnecessary or wasteful programs.
3. Of those polled, 77 percent said they were concerned about the state’s economy. How concerned are you about this and what would you do to ensure a prosperous financial future in Kansas?
We owe it to our kids and grandkids to leave them a thriving economy with good paying jobs that will allow them to provide for their family. This is their home, and I want to do everything possible to keep them here.
To ensure economic prosperity, we need to attract employers with a tax-code that encourages growth and make sure that we have an educated work force that can fill those jobs. We also can’t forget about retaining the jobs we do have - ensuring farmers and ranchers in rural Kansas have the resources they need to succeed is important to me. Reviewing and eliminating unnecessary red tape and regulation would be an additional step.
4. As a restaurateur who owns oil, gas and drilling companies, how will your business acumen help you as governor? Why do you advise against putting career politicians in charge of running the state?
I’m a businessman, CEO. It’s what I understand. I believe the skills I’ve learned operating my businesses can help put Kansas back on the right track. I’m the only candidate in the race that has made a career of creating jobs.
If elected governor, I can put that knowledge to use for the people of Kansas. That separates me from the rest of the candidates - they’re career politicians who are part of the problem in Topeka. Putting the same people in charge that created the problems is not how we are going to solve them.
5. Does Kansas have great potential for growth and prosperity? How can the state ensure a dynamic economic environment for those who live in the state and also attract new businesses?
Kansas is an incredible place. I was born, raised, and educated here, and it will always be my home. With the right leadership, we can ensure a vibrant, thriving, diverse economy for the next generation.
The people and resources our state possesses put Kansas in a unique opportunity to succeed. Whether it’s manufacturing in Wichita, agriculture in rural Kansas, or technology in Johnson County, I believe there is tremendous potential to grow our economy, attract new businesses, and ensure a bright future for the Sunflower State. However, it will take a strong, steady, conservative leader to enact the policy that will bring that growth, and I believe I’m the person for the job.
— Rimsie McConiga