Meet The Candidates

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Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

Eudorareporter.com is proud to announce that Meet the Candidates 2014 will be held in the Eudora Middle School auditorium on Sunday, Sept. 28. The forum is being sponsored by Eudorareporter.com and the Knights of Columbus Eudora Council #12932  in partnership with the Eudora School District.

Meet the Candidates 2014 will feature a debate between the three candidates for the United States 2nd Congressional District in Kansas and the candidates for the 42nd Kansas House of Representatives.

Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R), Margie Wakefield (D) and Chris Clemmons (L) will square off answering questions on a variety of topics. The topics and questions will be put together by a panel of editors from Eudorareporter.com with the assistance of the Government Studies class at Eudora High School.  The debate will begin promptly at 2:00 P.M.

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Following the U.S House of Representatives debate, we will feature Rep. Connie O’Brien and Austin Lee Harris who are vying for the 42nd Kansas House District.

Eudorareporter.com was selected as one of only three hosts for debates between the U.S. Congressional candidates during the election season.  This debate will be the first time the candidates for Congress and the Kansas House face each other.

We encourage everyone to come out and hear from the candidates themselves where they stand on a variety of issues so voters can make an informed decision in November.

 

 

 

 

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Wakefield-JenkinsDemocrat Margie Wakefield (left) and Rep. Lynn Jenkins (right) are the major party opponents in the race for the 2nd District U.S. of Representatives seat. 

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

U.S. Representative Lynn Jenkins (R-Topeka) has challenged opponent Margie Wakefield (D-Lawrence) to a series of debates leading up to the election for the Kansas 2nd District Congressional seat.

In an open letter to the Wakefield campaign, Jenkins offered debates in Shawnee County hosted by KTWU-TV, in Eudora hosted by Eudorareporter.com and a third debate to be held in Independence with a mutually acceptable venue and sponsor.

The letter, which highlights Jenkins’ campaign platform extensively, states that she wants to use the debate series to talk about where Wakefield stands on a variety of issues.

“I am particularly interested in learning about how your support for job-killing policies like cap-and-trade, your time as a delegate for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and your whole-hearted defense of Obamacare which has raised premiums on thousands of Kansans and, as we learned last month, will hurt our students by cutting the number of hours they can work on campus — will benefit the good people of eastern Kansas.”

Wakefield campaign manager Mark Sump told the Topeka-Capital Journal that debates are a necessary component to the race, but three would not be enough.

“This election needs to be a grown-up conversation about real issues facing this district’s residents, not the deception, misinformation and personal attacks that the Jenkins campaign has been resorting to from the moment she filed for this office,” Sump said.

In the interview Sump added that Jenkins was mistaken about Wakefield’s views on national energy policy and the Affordable Care Act.

Jenkins is vying for a fourth term in the House of Representatives.  Prior to running for the U.S. House, Jenkins served as State Treasurer for six years and started her political career as a Kansas House Representative.  Wakefield has never been elected to public office.  Wakefield spent time working for Sen. Bob Dole’s office in Topeka as a constituent services aide.  She has maintained a law office in Lawrence, focusing on family law, for nearly 30 years.

Chris Clemmons

Chris Clemmons (L-Shawnee) photo courtesy Clemmons campaign website

The race also features a third party candidate, Libertarian Chris Clemmons (Shawnee). Clemmons is a teacher in the Kansas City, Kansas School District. He grew up in Leavenworth, KS and graduated from Lansing High School in 2006.

Clemmons states on his campaign website that the divide in Congress and that money being a motivating factor behind decisions being made was what generated his interest in politics.

“Our constitutional rights are secretly being stripped away, our environment is in ever increasing jeopardy, and our farmers are being run over by big corporations.  With all that’s happening in the world, I’m ready to take a stand and represent my state so that we can build a better future for the coming generations of Americans,” the page goes on to say.

The date and location of Meet The Candidates 2014, our election debate forum, will be determined and released soon. Eudorareporter.com is proud to be selected as one of the media outlets to host a debate between the candidates.

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Joe HurlaSchool Board Member Joe Hurla at the Meet the Candidate Forum in Eudora Tuesday night (photo by Eudorareporter.com photojournalist Mark Moore)

 

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

Candidates for the Eudora School Board gathered at City Hall Tuesday night at the Meet the Candidate Forum to field questions about various topics facing the School Board.  The Froum was co-sponsored by Eudorareporter.com and the Eudora Chamber of Commerce.

One of the major discussion points was about the future leader of the School District.  Superintendent Don Grosdidier had previously announced that he will retire at the end of the 2013-2014 school year and it will be up to the next Board to pick the day to day leader of the School District.

“If I could clone Don, I would,” Mike Kelso said. “Our future leader will need to be a dynamic leader that has outstanding leadership and managerial skills that certainly understands the intricacies of everything that goes into making the school budget.”

Board member Eric Votaw added that the District needs a leader similar to Grosdidier.

Eric VotawBoard member Eric Votaw answers a question during the candidate forum. (photo by Eudorareporter.com photojournalist Mark Moore)

“Don has been a true asset to our District,” Votaw said. “We need someone personable, out there visible with the public, a dynamic communicator who is not afraid to stand up and state the positions and make sure we have high quality individuals leading our District and communicating with the parents.”

Board Member Joe Hurla echoed the appreciation of the other Board members on the panel with praise for Grosdidier.

“He is going to be leaving us in a great position,” Hurla stated. “I think we need to do is not only continue what he has done over the last several years but accelerate where this district is headed.  We need someone to come in who has a full and complete understanding of the budgetary situation and be able to apprise us of that and provide us good recommendations.”

The topic of budgets and School District financing were discussed as well.  With the politicians in Topeka wrangling over the state’s budgetary woes and education being the largest portion of the budget, many educators across the state are concerned that cats may make their way to the local level.

While no candidate would identify specific areas they would focus on since no state budgets cuts have been identified or proposed, all were concerned that cuts to K-12 education, the impact would be profound in Eudora.

“We will have to use the same approach that we did the last time,” Votaw said. “We are going to have to look at every single expenditure in the district and start furthest away from the classroom and make sure the last thing we touch are those things that directly impact the classroom.”

“Any fat that was to be trimmed, was trimmed before I was on the board,” Hurla stated. “At this point anything we do, cannot avoid pain but at least minimize pain and protect our core values in our strategic plan.”

Mike KelsoBoard member Mike Kelso Tuesday evening during Meet the Candidates (photo by Eudorareporter.com photojournalist Mark Moore)

Kelso, echoed the sentiments of the other two candidates in attendance at the forum.

“What we would cut if we got cuts tomorrow, I can’t tell you. It wouldn’t be easy to find.” Kelso also pointed out how difficult it would be to make cuts.

“Every cut affects a human life and their well being and their outlook,” Kelso pointed out.

The three current sitting board members up for reelection were in attendance. Bryan Maring the fourth candidate for the Board, bowed out citing a family obligation that came about unexpectedly.

Election day is Tuesday, April 2 where voters will go to the polls to determine which one of the four candidates will fill three seats on the School Board.  Eudorareporter.com will have complete election results that evening.

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Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

Next Tuesday, March 12, The Eudora Chamber of Commerce and Eudorareporter.com will host The Meet the Candidate Forum at Eudora City Hall. The Forum will begin at 7:00 PM and feature candidates for both the School Board and The City Commission.

The Eudora School Board members up for reelection are Joe Hurla, Mike Kelso and Eric Votaw.  They will be joined by Bryan Maring who is making his second attempt at a seat on the Board. Three seats are up to a vote in this election.

In the City Commissioner race,  two seats are up for election. Commissioner Bill Whitten is stepping down and Incumbent Tim Reazin is looking for his second term.  Challenging for the seats are long time resident Jerry Trober, newcomer Jolene Born and Mayor Scott Hopson who must run as a Commissioner instead of Mayor due to the form of government change.

All candidates in attendance will be asked a series of questions put together by a board of Editors from Eudorarpeorter.com and the audience will have their chance to ask questions of the candidates as well.

The Forum is free and the public is encouraged to attend. Make sure to come and learn about your elected officials.

 

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Scott HopsonMayor and City Commission Candidate Scott Hopson

Eudora News and Information – www.eudorareporter.com

With the coming School Board and City Commission election in April, we asked each candidate for both School Board and City Commission to answer a few questions to help give voters an insight into who is running.  Last week we featured the candidates for School Board and this week we will profile the City Commission candidates that have chosen to respond.   All candidates were given the same list of questions to answer and their responses are being printed exactly as received.  Today, we feature Commission candidate and current Eudora Mayor Scott Hopson.

Please tell about your background.
For those that do not know me, My name is Scott Hopson. I have lived in Eudora for 39 years. I am a       Eudora High School graduate.  I currently work for KCPL as a journeyman lineman.  I also hold a current seat as Mayor of Eudora.
What qualifications do you feel you have for a seat on the City Commission?
I have served the City of Eudora for 8 years as an elected official. I also worked for the City of Eudora for 5 years as an employee. In my 8 years as an elected official I served as a councilman for 4 years and now hold the seat as Mayor. I am the first ex-city employee that has held a seat for the City of Eudora. I have a great understanding of how the City of Eudora operates on a day to day bases, as well as, planning for the future.
What do you think is the most important issue that faces the City Commission and what do you plan to do in regards to that issue? 
The most important issue facing the City Commission in my opinion is the Water Plant. The possibility of pollution from an outside source given the sand pit issue that is currently going on. My plans to oversee the issues will be to check into needed upgrades of the plant via grant money and city participation. Eudora has no secondary source for water at this time. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment will shut down our water plant if pollution was to make it to our well fields. By making these improvement to the water plant it will put control of the water supply in our hands not the county.
What other issues do you feel the City Commission should review or remedy during the next term?
The other issues that need to be addressed is 1) The Notthingham property to bring in future development to that area. 2)  In my opinion the City of Eudora needs to purchase a portion of the southern end of the property to allow for future expansion of the pool, as well as, expanding the Parks and Rec Department.  3) I would also like to see the continuance  with our economic development plan. 4) Setting achievable goals for the Chamber continued Chamber of Commerce improvements such as hiring a part-time director.  All four these items are reliant upon each other for one to succeed they all need to succeed. This all starts with a strong Chamber of Commerce.
Why do you want to sit on the City Commission?
I love Eudora, this is my home town. I want good things for Eudora. Eudora deserves it. I enjoy helping people. You can fight city hall by being part of the solution. I bring a lot of experience and knowledge and I still want to help our community grow in the right direction.
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We will continue to bring you profiles for the City Commission candidates over the course of the week. Candidates will also have the opportunity to answer more in depth questions during the Meet The Candidates Forum on Tuesday, March 12 at 7:00 PM.  The Forum will be held at Eudora City Hall, 4 East 7th Street and the public is invited to attend.

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