On Tuesday, November 2nd, citizens will head to the polls to vote for several Federal and State offices. Multiple new organizations larger than Eudorareporter.com are doing excellent work in covering many of those races. We decided to focus on the race of local interest that will not receive much attention from these news organizations. We will give in depth coverage on the race for the 38th District in the State Legislature. This is the district that encompasses Eudora.
This seat will have major significance in the coming year as the State Legislature grapples with the question of how to deal with funding the state budget in the future.
Running for this House seat are Republican incumbent Anthony Brown of Eudora and Roberta Eveslage, the Democratic challenger from Lenexa, KS.
We have conducted interviews with both candidates for the seat and asked the same questions of both candidates so that you can compare the candidates on their thoughts and a few of the many important questions they would face in this office.
Roberta Eveslage is the Democratic nominee for the State Representative. Eveslage is a retired Professor of Psychology from Johnson County Community College and resides in Lenexa, Kansas.
Eveslage grew up in Dallas, TX and attended Texas Christian University for undergraduate studies, and received her MA and PhD from the University of Kansas. Eveslage spent time working for the Arlington, TX Public School District and the Kansas City, KS School District.
Anthony Brown is the Republican incumbent for the Kansas House of Representatives District 38. Anthony was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives in 2004. Brown has been a carpenter for 13 years and resides in Eudora, KS.
Brown was raised in Baldwin, KS and did his undergraduate studies at Emporia State University. Brown taught Social Studies in the Atchison County Community School District. Brown served for six years in the Marine Corps and is a veteran of the 1991 Gulf War.
Question: What do you think is the most important issue facing the Legislature?
Eveslage: Getting more jobs in the state. This will help our tax base and add funding to assist with the state budget. Education also plays into this. Better education allows people to be be better trained and the more jobs we have, that helps the tax situation.
Brown: Jobs. We need to get people back to work in this state. The sales tax increase that went into effect cost jobs. We need to get those jobs back. Unfortunately with the uncertainty of possible tax increases and the possible rollback of the Bush tax cuts, businesses do not want to hire additional people. We need to remove that uncertainty and we’ve got to help create jobs.
Question: Many readers want to know the thoughts of both candidates in regards to education funding. What are your thoughts on the current way the state funds education?
Brown: The formula for school funding needs to be restructured. We have a moral obligation to fund all school districts in the state, but it needs more equality.
Eveslage: The formula has been tweaked and it has helped. I’m in favor of education all the people.
Question: Do you feel education funding needs to be changed?
Eveslage: I am not for any further reductions to funding for education. I would seek some way to raise taxes other than how we have in the past.
Brown: Yes. We need to simplify the process. I want the state to allow local districts to decide what is adequate funding and then have the state fund it to those levels.
Question: Another issue asked about by readers is health care. Do you feel reform is needed for health care and if so what reforms would you work towards?
Brown: Definitely. Folks need help. I do not value a single payer system. I want to be able to opt out of “Obamacare”. We also need more competition between states. One provider in Kansas covers most of the people in the state. Insurance companies from Missouri and other surrounding states cannot compete for that business. We need to allow these companies to cross state lines so that it can bring a more competitive environment and thus lower rates.
Eveslage: We can always improve health care. We have a lot of elderly population. We have to watch out for them and assist them. Health care is a problem. The state has trouble covering the Medicaid budget. We need to make changes in how the insurance companies operate. This will perhaps give us help. We also need to change insurance regulations to augment the health care providers.
Question: What other issues do you see as playing into the role of the State Legislature?
Eveslage: If we have a change in parties at the head of state government, too great a change will make it unclear and unsure as to protecting education and getting jobs into the state. By getting jobs into the state, this will help both the tax situation and education funding.
Brown: Sen. Brownback, if elected, has stated he wants to reorganize state government. Several organizations, such as SRS, do great work, but we cannot see those budgets. We need more transparency in all our state agencies. We need to make them more efficient and bring government into the 21st century.
Question: Why do you think you are the better candidate over your opponent?
Brown: My opponent is a pleasant lady who has done fine work over the years as an educator. I respect her education background, but most of her life has only been spent in a classroom setting. I have a varied background. I am a former teacher. I served as a Marine and I own my own business. I am able to relate how businesses operate.
Eveslage: I have a unilateral stance against taxes. We need an inventive person to fund what’s needed for the state. I am not for raising taxes across the board. We need to look for alternative revenue. I would be a full time legislator. I look at this district seat as a leadership task. We need to look at all entities and see what we can do to help the best we can with what we have. I am also committed to working very hard for the people of this district.
This article is just a brief look at the most important issues identified by both the candidates and the readers of Eudorareporter.com. The Midwest Democracy Project, a joint venture between The Kansas City Star and the journalism schools of both KU and MU has more information about each candidates stand on a variety of issues. We encourage citizens to be well informed about their choices for federal and state government. Below is a link to a survey done of the candidates by the Midwest Democracy project.
We urge all citizens to get out and vote on Tuesday, Nov. 2nd.