Rep Connie O’Brien and Sandra Bohne 

By John Richmeier, courtesy The Leavenworth Times

Voters in Leavenworth County had a chance to hear Monday from candidates who are seeking to represent them in the Kansas House of Representatives.

Candidates facing primary challenges in the 38th, 40th, 41st and 42nd districts spoke at a forum sponsored by the Webster University international relations class taught by professor Ernest Evans.

With 10 candidates appearing at the two-hour event, there was only time for opening statements and two questions. One of the questions asked candidates what they have done and plan to do to support public schools.

David Anderson, R-De Soto, is one of two candidates seeking the Republican nomination in the 38th District. Anderson, who is the mayor of De Soto, said he has worked with educators and has a long track record of supporting them.  Willie Dove, R-Bonner Springs, is the other Republican running in the 38th District. He said legislators need to help teachers and not administrators. He said the state should stop sending money to the top of school districts because it’s not going to go to the bottom. 

Sandra Bohne, R-Leavenworth, is running in the 42nd District.

“Consolidation is not the answer.” She said it would add just another layer of bureaucracy. “I’m for local control.”

Connie O’Brien, R-Tonganoxie, is the incumbent in the 42nd District and faces Bohne in the primary. She also touched on the idea of vocational training. She said there are programs out there.  She said one of the things she hears from teachers is they don’t like teaching to the test. She said teachers also have expressed frustration about 95 percent of their students getting what they’re teaching but having to wait on the other 5 percent.

The other question asked candidates about their stand on the Second Amendment rights in Kansas in light of the recent shooting at a movie theater in Colorado.  All of the candidates expressed support for the Second Amendment.

Evans’ class will host another forum next week for primary candidates running for the Kansas Senate and Leavenworth County Commission. That forum will begin at 7 p.m. July 30 at the Riverfront Community Center.

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