To the editor:

As your recently elected Kansas state senator for District 5 covering Leavenworth and Lansing, I would like to announce my endorsements for the election on Nov.6.

For state representative for the 41st District, I am endorsing Tony Barton. Tony is a proven leader with a 100 percent voting record and a 100 percent attendance record in the 2014-2016 session. In addition, during his time in the House, Tony was decisive, carefully considering each issue and voting on each issue. In this campaign Tony is standing firm against tax increases and is dedicated to putting more of our school funding in the classroom.

The opposing candidate is Jeff Pittman. Although I respect all those who serve I am deeply concerned about those who do not show up after being elected. In the 2017 session Jeff Pittman was absent for 10 days. Although most citizens do not know it the actual time in session is only 90 days. None of us can imagine taking on a new job and being absent for 10 of your first 90 days without being let go. As constituents we should not accept it from our elected officials. To his credit Jeff Pittman did do better in the 2018 session when he only missed four days and eight critical votes. A final concern is that Jeff Pittman was not decisive. As a matter of fact he voted “present” on 20 votes. We elect people to carefully consider the issues and then vote in our best interests. You deserve better. 

For state representative for the 40th District, I am endorsing David French. David has proven his dedication through his long military service. David is committed to repeal the largest tax increase in Kansas history.  He is committed to voting the values of Lansing and also committed to moving school funding from over sized administration to the classroom. 

His opponent Debbie Deere cheered after voting to override the governor’s veto of the tax increase. She was rated last on the political Freedom Index. Last means she for the least amount of freedom. Sadly, her values are just not aligned with her constituents. On school funding she voted to increase the funding but with no enforceable standards for the actual improvements to education for our kids. Although funding is important, funding without a plan for improvement is counterproductive. 

My last endorsement is for Mike Powell who is running for District 1 of the Kansas State Board of Education. Mike believes in putting students first which is something that has been overlooked in all the political rhetoric about funding. Mike is dedicated to moving education forward by taking an honest look at the failings of our current educational system. He believes teachers deserve equitable compensation and students deserve improved results. Mike is open to considering innovative practices that have achieved results across the nation.  

His opponent Janet Waugh has been a staunch defender of the current educational system. Although I respect her passion for education I feel she has overlooked the purpose of education which is to serve our kids rather than create high paying jobs for administrators and those in the education unions. A vote for Janet Waugh is a vote for an obsolete system that does not provide our kids the education they deserve.

As your senator I will do everything I can within the election season to help elect those who I believe will act in your best interests. After the election, I will always respect your vote and work with whomever the voters have chosen for the benefit of Senate District 5 and our state.