Biographical Information: age, where from, etc.
Lifelong Kansan — Lawrence, Kansas
Position on the Economy and Taxes:
I am the only candidate in this race with a record of cutting taxes — I voted over 150 times to cut taxes while I served in the Kansas Legislature. I support tax reform that helps middle class Kansans who have been left behind as corporations raked in record profits. Instead, Congress passed a Brownback-style giveaway for special interests and campaign donors. It is exploding the national debt, stripping healthcare from 30,000 Kansans in this district, and ultimately raises taxes on Kansans earning less than $75,000 — all to pay for permanent corporate tax cuts. I offered an alternative plan to close $900 billion in corporate loopholes in order to cut taxes for middle class Kansas families.
I have worked in the Kansas private sector for nearly 20 years and has been a long time member of my local chamber of commerce, and I understand the needs of Kansas businesses trying to grow, create jobs and remain profitable. I believe individual states are best suited to build their own strategic vision for economic growth, but I think the federal government can support those efforts by making college and workforce training more affordable, enacting commonsense regulatory reform, and by investing in infrastructure.
Position on Immigration:
Washington’s failure to fix our immigration system has created a national crisis. We need leaders who will stop politicizing the problem and find a bipartisan solution that is tough, practical, and humane.
Open borders are dangerous and put Kansas communities at risk. I support stronger border security, improved vetting procedures, and more resources for law enforcement to target criminals in the country illegally. I oppose the abolishment of ICE. Additionally, “safe havens” for drug dealers, gangs, and other criminals cannot be tolerated. America is a nation of laws, and anyone who commits a violent crime must be prosecuted to the law’s fullest extent — no exceptions.
America is also nation of immigrants. This is why I support the Dream Act and strongly oppose family separation. We have a moral obligation to protect children and young people who were brought here by no fault of their own. I am frustrated that innocent children remain at risk because Washington is too broken to act — even on this matter, on which there is broad, bipartisan agreement.
Most of the 11 million undocumented people in the United States obey our laws, pay taxes, speak English, and work hard — many even serve in our military. They should not be allowed to “cut in line,” but after years contributing to our communities, they should be allowed to earn a spot without threats of mass deportation.
This is a serious problem. However, years of hardline rhetoric by politicians who exploit the issue have resulted in an America that is more divided and less safe. It’s time to find a compromise that will fix our immigration system once and for all.
Position on National Security:
There is absolutely nothing more important than defending America’s freedom and our way of life. More than ever before, our country needs a strong, smart, and strategic national security policy focused on protecting the United States, the American people, and our interests abroad.
Keeping terrorists out of Kansas means always putting patriotism over politics – no matter which political party won the last election. This requires commonsense immigration reform that won’t cruelly and unnecessarily rip families apart, securing our borders without betraying the founding ideals of our nation, and banding together to combat threats at home, abroad, and online. If we wish to preserve the vitality of our democracy, we must also take decisive action to prevent foreign adversaries from undermining our institutions or intervening in our elections.
Position on Health Care:
A healthy America is a strong America, which is why access to healthcare is so vital to our prosperity. Our healthcare system isn’t perfect, but we cannot fix its problems until the Republican Congress stops sabotaging the system over a political fight. Allowing Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies would lower skyrocketing drug prices. Enforcing the law’s cost-sharing reductions would help stabilize the market and prevent massive premium spikes. Encouraging states like Kansas to expand Medicaid would give thousands more access to care. These are popular ideas that would tackle challenges I hear about most. Kansans are just waiting on Congress to stop playing politics.
I’m the only candidate in this race with a proven record of protecting Medicare and working to lower the cost of healthcare for both families and businesses. I stood with the Republican Kansas Insurance Commissioner and the AARP in 2014 to fight against Sam Brownback’s attacks on Medicare, jeopardizing health care for over 440,000 Kansas seniors. I voted to expand health insurance for Kansas children, to expand partnerships that enable small business owners provide insurance to employees, and to expand Medicaid. In Washington, I will reach across the aisle to fix what’s broken in the current healthcare system so we can stabilize the market and lower premiums.
Position on Agriculture:
I grew up in the second district and I understand that Kansas cannot thrive without strong rural communities. I will protect the traditions and values that define our state’s heritage.
No other congressional district in America is home to more family farms. That’s why I created an Agricultural Advisory Group soon after launching this campaign. I believe it is essential to receive input from a broad group of agriculture leaders, agribusinesses, industry associations who understand the unique needs of the agricultural community in Kansas.
Congress’ failure to agree to a bipartisan compromise on the Farm Bill is a stark reminder of how extreme partisanship in Washington hurts hardworking Kansas families. The expiration of the Farm Bill will lead to a lapse in funding for critical safety net programs for family farmers that are already grappling with farm incomes which are at a 12-year low, in addition to the impacts of President Trump’s reckless war.
Highest Priority Issue in Office:
More outside, special interest money has flooded into this campaign than ever in the history of the district. In fact, 95% of the money spent on behalf of my opponent came from super PACs in Washington DC. Every dollar these groups spend — on both sides — drowns out the voices of Kansans who live here. This is why I announced recently that sweeping, bold reforms to get money out of politics will be the first thing I champion in Congress. Washington is fundamentally broken, and the source of the problem is not one political party or the other — the problem is money. Obscene, unlimited, unchecked money flowing into our elections and our system of government. It’s the “gateway issue” to everything else we care about as Kansans — healthcare, good jobs, tax reform for working people.
Position on change in Washington?
Washington is broken, and we can only fix it if we send people there who care more about people than political parties. I am the only candidate in this race with a strong track record of bipartisanship in order to deliver results for Kansans. In the Kansas Legislature, I built the bipartisan coalition to balance the state budget at the height of the Great Recession, while also passing a 10-year transportation plan to create 175,000 Kansas jobs. I voted with my Republican colleagues 75% of the time, including over 150 votes to cut Kansas taxes. It’s why I am proud to be endorsed by 36 current and former elected Republican officials who have worked with me and know my character. It’s why I’m endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police — which endorsed President Trump in 2016. It’s why I’m endorsed by the Kansas Council of Firefighters — which endorsed the Republican candidate for Kansas Governor. And it’s why I have pledged not to support Nancy Pelosi for leader or speaker if I am elected.