LETTER: Values matter

Doug Tystad

To the editor:

Over the past several weeks, many letters to the editor have addressed the values that the writers want to see candidates possess and demonstrate in their campaigns. I am writing to recommend Mike Griswold, candidate for the 41st District of the Kansas House of Representatives. He is a candidate who possesses and lives rock-solid values.

I have known and worked with Mike for nearly 30 years in the military and in business and can attest to the values he brings to his candidacy. I first met Mike as a battalion commander at Fort Hood, Texas. We served together again as War College students at the School of Advanced Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth and then again as senior leaders in the Command and General Staff College.

After retirement, Mike and I were both in the defense industry supporting programs at Fort Leavenworth, first as competitors and then as teammates working for Northrop Grumman. We are friends as well as colleagues, and I was truly honored to accept the role of treasurer for Mike’s campaign. Throughout our association, Mike has lived the values of duty, honor, country. In business, his hallmarks were integrity, professionalism and customer service. He was awarded the Northrop Grumman Technical Services President’s Award for Excellence in Customer Satisfaction, one of only a few managers honored in a sector with over 17,000 employees.

As president of USD 207 school board, he showed an innovative and dedicated spirit in leading one of the most successful school districts in Kansas. As a Leavenworth city commissioner and mayor, his insistence on realistic and far-reaching solutions to the city’s challenges has shaped a positive future for our city.

One of the things that has always impressed me about Mike is his independence of thought and action. Mike analyzes a problem, gathers the facts, works with others to develop potential solutions and then follows a plan through to a successful conclusion. Unlike his opponent, Mike will not be a tool of his party, mindlessly following party boss dictates, often to the detriment of the constituency he purports to serve. He will consistently do what is best for the state and his constituents. A quick review of his website, Facebook or Twitter accounts will show that his priorities are well thought out and intended to benefit all, not just those who vote for him.

We need a candidate that works for all of us, regardless of party affiliation. I agree that values matter in our candidates and I agree with earlier writers in this space that many of those running for office are a disappointment. But I am proud to be a supporter of Mike Griswold, a values-based candidate who the voters of the 41st District will be pleased to have representing them in Topeka.