It’s difficult to duck the mudslinging long enough to make political endorsements this election.
In the Governor’s race, we appreciate some of the work incumbent Sam Brownback has done. Although our opinion is not popular, we approve of eliminating a state mandate requiring that teachers be granted tenure; we believe we have excellent teachers who can stand on their own subject to the same rights as other citizens, and local school boards still have the ability to provide policies for tenure, if they so desire.
That said, we could live without some of Brownback’s policies and future plans, and his apparent inability to take an objective look at the outcome of past policies, and his insistence on just “hitting the accelerator.” Good leadership requires the ability to reflect and adjust.
Brownback’s opponent, Rep. Paul Davis, however, has done little to tell us what he would do if elected. Instead, much of Davis’ campaign is based on the sole fact that he isn’t Sam Brownback.
Meanwhile, in the race for U.S. Senate, we’ve been given two choices. In one corner, we have the incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts. He’s been in Washington far too long. In the other corner, we have the shadow of a candidate, Greg Orman, who may or may not be independent. He has yet to clearly define his political philosophy, other than to say Washington isn’t working. He waffles on some of the leading questions of the day: Would he work to overturn Obamacare? With whom would he caucus in a tied U.S. Senate? These questions matter,and it’s asking quite a bit of Kansans to throw caution to the wind and hope Orman gets it right.
We worry that voters may want to “throw the bums out” but they need to carefully consider the other choice. Sometimes you the devil you know may be better than the devil you don’t.
In local races, voters have no choice in the lone state Senate race. Molly Baumgardner is running unopposed.
In the race to represent Gardner and Edgerton in the Kansas House, we have an incumbent state Rep. Bill Sutton, who is decidedly absent. He’s run a largely absent campaign. We’ve heard he refuses to answer questions from constituents with whom he disagrees. He appears to like the spotlight, but we haven’t seen him much campaigning or on doorsteps, which makes him appear inaccessible.
His opponent, Caitlin Trujillo, lacks experience. Some of that can’t be helped – she’s young. However, sharing some of the common experiences of her constituents – home ownership, for example – is a desired attribute in a representative. On the flip side, she’s educated, idealistic and works in the everyday world which provides insight into the problems faced by many voters as they struggle in the “new economy.”
We like Rep. Willie Dove; but he lives in Bonner Springs. Only a small sliver of his district encompasses the Gardner Lake area. His opponent Jan Pringle is a Gardner Lake resident; which provides her with a better understanding of concerns in this area. It could be said Dove’s philosophy is more in line with Gardner, a decidedly conservative community; while Pringle is a good choice based on geography.
The only ringing endorsement we can give this year is a nod for a ‘yes’ vote on the proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution. The amendment would legalize raffles for charitable organizations.Without this change, almost every Kansan is a criminal, though the law is rarely, if ever, enforced.
We heartily endorse a ‘yes’ vote on the question.
On the candidates, we urge voters to educate themselves, duck the mudslinging, tune out the campaign advertising slogans, and look to the important issues. But most importantly, get out and vote your conscience.