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Rep. Connie O’Brien took a step forward on Tuesday in her quest to win a third term in the Kansas house of Representatives representing the 42nd District. O’Brien beat Sandra Bohne 1,116 – 661.
O’Brien was appreciative to the voters of both Douglas and Leavenworth county.
“I’m very blessed and very grateful,” O’Brien said. “Sandra worked really hard. She made me get out.”
Bohne, who spent several days during the campaign going door to door in Eudora, was pleased with her efforts despite the loss.
“I really enjoyed meeting the people,” Bohne said. “We worked hard and we are so glad we did.”
O’Brien will now face Harold Fevurly Jr. in the general election. Fevurly currently sits on the Easton School Board in northeast Kansas and works for Kansas Correctional Industries.
As to Bohne’s political future, she stated that she plans to focus on church service work.
“My husband will retire in a few years and we’ve always planned on doing a church mission.”
Eudora News and Information – www.eudorareporter.com
We are presenting profiles of the candidates in the GOP Primary for the 42nd House District and 3rd Senate District in the Kansas State House. Both of these districts encompass the city of Eudora. All the GOP candidates were sent the exact same questionnaire. Today, we continue our feature with Sandra Bohne who is vying for the 42nd House District.
Please tell about your background.
I’m Sandra Bohne and I’m running for the Kansas House, District 42. Re-districting has brought me to District 42 after a near win in District 40 in 2010. I’d like to be your representative because we need a strong voice to represent the families in our state. I can be that voice. The keystone of my campaign is “Strong Families, Strong Communities, Less Government.” On every issue and every vote, I’ll ask myself, “Is this good for the families of Leavenworth and Douglas Counties?”
I’m active as a school, church, and scouting volunteer. I see young families struggling to provide basics for their children, recent college graduates with no jobs and older parents who want to hold on to what they’ve worked for and pass it on to their children.
I will vote to:
• Create jobs through tax cuts, incentives and reduction of crippling government regulations
• Shrink the size and scope of government
• Involve communities in taking care of their own, reducing the burden of the state
• Help school districts create a sound business plan
• Defend human life from conception to natural death
• Work to find a solution that will allow Kansas to opt out of Obamacare
• Protect our 2nd Amendment rights
I have a Bachelor of Business Administration from Loyola University in New Orleans.
My husband and I own a small family farm and a rental property business in Leavenworth.
I have been married to Bill Bohne for 39 years and we have 4 children and 2 grandchildren.
I will work hard for Kansas and the people who live here. I love Kansas. We came to Leavenworth during military service and have stayed because it’s a wonderful community. We have lived here for 22 years. I am a Kansan by choice, and I ask for your vote.
Please tell us about your political experience.
In 2010, I ran against Democratic incumbent, Melanie Meier, in House district 40. I lost by 44 votes.
I am a member of the Leavenworth County Republican Women’s Club and have been a delegate to two national conventions of the National Federation of Republican Women.
What do you think is the most important issue that will face the Kansas House of Representatives in the next year?
Kansas families are hurting. We need jobs.
We must get our financial house in order. This holds true for families, local, state and national government. We cannot spend more than we take in.
The Kansas state budget has caused great debate in recent years. How do you plan on improving the state budget?
Developing a state budget is a complex endeavor. The Division of the Budget has the responsibility for budget development:
“The mission of the Division is to provide for the effective and efficient management of Kansas state government. The Division of the Budget has central responsibility for the state budget process and management of state government. Within broad guidelines set by law, the Division issues instructions, regulations and directives that determine how state agencies propose and justify requests for expenditure authority. Findings and conclusions arising from that analysis are submitted to the Governor and become the basis for the Governor’s recommendations to the Legislature.”
As a legislator, I would be vocal in my commitment to cut waste, reorganize and combine departments to reduce duplication of services, reduce the number of administrators, and sell off unused state property.
In the end, each legislator has their one vote and you vote on what is presented to you.
Much depends on the leadership of the governor.
Education funding makes up a large portion of the state budget. Many districts have stated that state funding for education has been inadequate. What are your thoughts on education funding?
I am a conservative who is concerned for the future of public education. I want to see the school districts adequately funded. The Kansas Constitution states:
“(b) The legislature shall make suitable provision for finance of the educational interests of the state”
I have never claimed that I want to “fully fund” public schools. Public education is dear to my heart and so are all the children of Kansas. Alarmists claim that 52% of the General Fund is spent on K-12 education. While this is a true statement, the general fund makes up only 41% of our total funds available. In reality, we spend about 21% of our total state expenditures on K-12. We are shackled by federal and state mandates, many of them unfunded, that cause us to spend classroom dollars on auxiliary services. The federal mandate of “No Child Left Behind” and “RACE to the Top” has caused our schools to teach to test standards, instead of just teaching. Every child deserves a strong basic education. The first three years we learn to read. The rest of our lives, we read to learn.
One suggestion is to allow local school boards to increase LOB (local option budget). There is presently a cap on LOB. If the cap is removed, school districts and the patrons who pay the taxes could choose to raise their mil levy to support their own schools in the way they choose.
Education funding and redistricting of seats have been settled in the court system as opposed to the State House. What are your thoughts on the court system determining policies that should be settled by the Legislature?
The true key is to have a strong legislature who does their job.
When the legislature does its job correctly and designs laws that follow the state or national constitution, then the courts will not come into play.
What we have now is not what our fore fathers envisioned. They had a great system of checks and balances in the form of the three governmental branches: executive, legislative and judicial. I believe the original intent was for the judicial to be a board of review and refer items that did not fit the rule of law back to the legislature. The courts have over stepped their bounds and are legislating to us. What recourse do we have when they do this? The system is out of balance.
Fix the legislature and the problem will solve itself.
Health care has seen many changes from the federal government recently. These changes will affect all citizens. What are your thoughts on these changes and what will you do as a Representative for the citizens of Kansas when it comes to healthcare?
We need to elect Mitt Romney who will grant a waiver to Obamacare to every state.
I will work to allow Kansas and Kansans to elect the kind of health care plan they want.
An issue that is important to many people is abortion. What is your stance on abortion and what will you do to support your position in the State House?
I am against abortion.
Personally, I would never have an abortion, nor would I recommend it to my daughters or other women I counsel.
Legislatively, I would grant exceptions for cases of rape, incest and the life of the mother.
Same sex marriage is also a popular topic in the United States. What is your position on marriage?
I believe that marriage is only between one man and one woman. I do not support same sex marriage.
Citizens in the state hold the belief that their taxes are high. With that said, what is your opinion on taxes in the state and what are your plans, if any, to change taxes, either up or down?
I am in favor of cutting taxes, but I would like to see spending cuts linked to tax cuts. Low consumer confidence, a sagging job market, and general economic fear for the future may cause Kansas taxpayers to hold on to the money they are seeing as increased income from the income tax cut. There is no guarantee that they will spend it and boost the economy. They may also put it toward debt reduction in other areas. I hope we see the desired result but lowering taxes is only one component of the complex economic system we function in.
The state has bills to pay, so if we continue to lower or do away with income tax, then property or sales tax could rise. The hope is that by cutting income tax, sales tax and property tax revenues will rise, not through higher tax rates, but through increased purchasing by consumers.
I would like to see property tax relief for low income seniors (over 65) who have lived on their property for 10 consecutive years.
We could raise the homestead exemption granted to low income seniors to $100,000.00, so that property taxes are not charged on the first $100,000.00 of value on their homes.
What other issues are important to you that you plan on fighting for or against as a member of the Legislature?
I would fight for more and consistent services for our veterans, especially the sick, wounded and disabled. The State of Kansas provides the salaries for the State Assistant Service Officers who counsel the veterans about the care they are entitled to. With more of our native sons returning from war every day, Kansas is under staffed and underfunded.
Why do you want to sit in the House?
It has been a lifelong ambition to serve in the state legislature. I want to represent my friends and neighbors in the state house. I want to be a part of designing our laws and budget. I want to design laws and a budget that ensures Kansas will continue to be the best state for families and jobs.
As we continue our feature of the State House and Senate candidates, we will bring you the responses by the Senate candidates in the coming days.
The Eudora Chamber of Commerce and Eudorareporter.com are proud to bring you the opportunity to learn more about candidates in person at a town hall forum on Tuesday, July 17th at 7:00 PM. Meet the Candidates – 2012 – The GOP Primary will take place at Eudora City Hall 4 E. 7th Street in Downtown Eudora. Chamber of Commerce President Susie Pryor and Eudorareporter.com Managing Editor John Schulz will host the event. The candidates will be asked a series of questions determined by a panel from both Eudorareporter.com and the Chamber of Commerce. Citizens will also have the opportunity to ask questions of the candidates.
The Chamber of Commerce and Eudorareporter.com hope that you can attend the event which is open to the public and free of charge.
Candidates for the 42nd Kansas House District (l-r)Rep. Connie O’Brien (R-Tonganoxie), Sandra Bohne (R-Leavenworth) and Harold D. Fevurly Jr. (D-Leavenworth)
Eudora News and Information – www.eudorareporter.com
Redistricting in the state of Kansas has caused a major upheaval for not only many towns like Eudora which finds itself in a new House District come 2013, but for the candidates and who is making a run for the State House. Last week we talked about the 3rd District in the Senate and the three candidates there. Today, we move to the House.
Eudora has been added to the 42nd House District. Previously, this district ended north of Eudora at the Leavenworth County line. Eudora was in the 38th District. The 42nd covers a large section of the northern and western portions of Leavenworth County and now, the northeast section of Douglas County.
As with the Senate race in the 3rd District, A GOP primary will take place on August 7. Gunning for the GOP nomination are two term incumbent from the 42nd District Connie O’Brien of Tonganoxie and Sandra Bohne who is a resident of rural Leavenworth. The winner of the primary will take on Harold Fevurly Jr., also of the Leavenworth area.
O’Brien, who has served in the House since ’09, spent much of her time being a mother and an Educator. O’Brien spent many years teaching at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. O’Brien later on obtained her B.A. in Secondary education in 1996 and taught in the Basehor-Linwood, Leavenworth and Mclouth Districts.
O’Brien said that there were some things she wanted to get done in the State House that have not yet been completed.
“We need to look at tax cuts, KPERS funding and education financing,” O’Brien stated. “Since I sit on the Veterans and Military/Homeland Security committees, we also need to help those soldiers coming home.”
Bohne, while not having State House experience, is no stranger to politics. Bohne ran for the 40th District in 2010 and lost to Democratic Incumbent Melanie Meier by less than 50 votes. Bohne also has served as an educator as a substitute teacher since 2004. Bohne has spent her life as “The volunteer lady” (Bohne’s description) and as a homemaker.
“I’ve always jumped in whenever the opportunity presented itself.” Bohne said. “I love politics and campaigning. I’m not afraid to to talk to people and I put my mind, heart and energy into whatever I do.”
Both candidates say they have similar ideas as their opponent.
“Connie is a little more conservative and I’m a little more moderate,” Bohne told us.
Fevurly, the lone democrat in the race is no stranger to Bohne. Fevurly currently serves on the Board of Education for the Easton School District. Also serving as an Easton Board member, is Bohne’s husband Bill. Fevurly has been the lead negotiator for the Board in the teacher contract talks the last two years. Fevurly has worked for the Kansas Correctional Industries, a state agency, for 28 years. Fevurly also is a farmer.
One of Fevurly’s main concerns is education funding in the state. As a School District board member, he has seen how funding cuts have made an impact on his district.
The Republican candidates will square off in August 7 with the winner of that race facing Fevurly in the November General Election.