LETTER: 2020 campaign

Rep. Jeff Pittman

To the editor:

I am excited to represent this Senate district, despite the false and misleading information about me during the campaign. I have spent my time listening to you, getting to know issues of a broader district, and looking for ways to more effectively represent you. These slanders and deceptions hurt friends and family, attempting to make ad hominem slanted stories to divide an already very divided electorate. It ends up hurting our community. We deserve better.

I have seen, for example, misleading statements about votes I have never taken around abortion. As I have clearly stated, I would have voted for a constitutional amendment on abortion going to the people for a vote had it merely allowed for exceptions in case of rape, incest and the life of the mother. I’ve been told I’m ready to defund the police – again false. I’ve been endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police #4 and #40 and believe our smaller northeast Kansas cities need better pay to retain younger officers and incentivize community engagement.

I have seen outright slander, insinuating I had profited off of a campaign fundraiser selling dinosaur T-shirts. In fact, upon our request, we had it reviewed by the Ethics Commission which gave it a glowing approval, saying it was transparent and innovative. I’m happy we successfully reconditioned our local icon.

Finally, I don't understand how my opponent’s supporters feel its OK to bully my family online, especially a minor child. It’s been shameful.

Even with this, I find satisfaction in public service for the community I grew up in. Four years ago, I went to Topeka with a goal to make needed positive changes to our state economic situation. I helped stabilize the state budget, get teachers and corrections officers raises and fund KPERs and roads properly. Unfortunately, as I worked in a bipartisan manner in the House, the Senate was saddled with hyper-partisan gridlock. We need to change that.

I have a proven track record on working across the aisle: on education, on looking for health care options like Medicaid expansion and others, advocating for mental health, justice reform and working people’s issues and on improving lives of veterans. I have shown repeatedly I put people of our area above party politics. Win or lose, I will live in our community with my chin up and look anyone in the eye knowing that I have run a campaign of integrity and honesty. I’d appreciate your support Nov. 3.