WASHINGTON (KSNT) – Nexstar’s Washington, D.C. reporter Raquel Martin caught up with newly elected Congressman Jake LaTurner who will represent Kansas 2nd District congressional seat.
Republican Jake LaTurner beat Democratic candidate Michelle De La Isla keeping this district congressional seat red in the northeast and east-central portions of Kansas.
LaTurner took a few moments to answer some questions facing the newly elected congressman while in the nation’s Capitol for orientation sessions.
What have you learned so far?
“What I realized is that people are coming here from all over the country, and it really is a reflection of what people are thinking, people have different points of view, they have different things they are focusing on so it’s fascinating to see everyone come together in Washington D.C.”
“There’s a lot to learn, but its been an exciting week so far.”
What will be your focus?
“A big focus for me is going to be constituent services, learning the rules of the house. This is exciting, being able to put an office together that works for the 2nd District.”
Do you have your eyes on any particular committees right now?
“Constituent services. That’s going to be a big focus for me in my congressional office. It doesn’t matter what party you are, what part district you are from. We are going to make sure we help people navigate through the federal government.”
What about the tone in D.C.?
“What I heard over and over of during the election is that people are tired of Washington D.C. not working for them. They send people here and watch nothing happen. I’m going to stand firm on my principles, I’m not going to compromise my principles, but I’m not afraid to sit down and talk to anyone and try to get something done at the end of the day.”
What about the spread of coronavirus?
“People are hurting across this country, through no fault of their own, this virus is a big deal, and we’ve got to wrap our arms around it and make sure we get something done. That involves we distribute a vaccine and make sure that distribution is done well. I hope Congress will act now and don’t’ wait until January.”
What about the National Debt?
“A $26.5 trillion dollar debt is a major concern for this country, we have a global pandemic, we have to to get to work on it, my criticism is what has been happening for the last 20-30 years in this country. A trillion-dollar deficit on an annual basis can not continue. We have to start making smart financial decisions.”
What about federal mask mandates?
“When it comes to mask mandates on a federal level I don’t think that is the way to go. This needs to be dealt with at the state and local level, there are huge population differences by county in Kansas, a one size fits all approach throughout the country definitely doesn’t make sense. It can’t be a one size fits all approach even in our state. I certainly don’t’ support a federal mask mandate.”
What about the outcome and legitimacy of the election?
“There is a process and it is working, and it is going to play out. There are legal issues in the courts that need to be resolved. States are going certify the results and this process will work and then we will have a result, then we can move on from there and make sure we are getting something done for the people.”
“I think when there are legal issues at play he has every right to exhaust the legal process, we need to wait for certifications from the states, this is a process set up to work at the end until the House of Representatives certifies the results of the election in January the process isn’t over.”