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Question 1: Do you feel the State of Kansas has done an adequate job of fighting COVID and what would you do differently or in addition to improve the response? What lessons do you think we have learned so far as a result of the pandemic?

I feel that a lot of what’s happened in Kansas with regards to COVID-19 legislation is just partisan bickering.

As soon as Laura Kelly went to the White House to work with the Trump administration to get COVID relief she successfully managed to get a large sum of medical supplies and a lot of swabs for testing. When she came back and tried to implement this legislation she was put between a rock and a hard place by the Republican administration here in Kansas. She had to push forward with all of this legislation and simultaneously lose any emergency response she had, which would severely cripple the response to COVID-19 here in Kansas. I definitely see that the partisanship of Kansas has crippled our response to it.

What I would do different is I don’t think lockdowns are necessarily the right way to go all of the time. It really depends on how violent the spread is. It comes down to a hybrid of what the Republican administration keeps on pounding out and what the Left really wants. And that’s between lockdowns and getting herd immunity. Herd immunity is not a legitimate way to go. Herd immunity is what we should be going toward, but it’s not a legitimate strategy. We need to have a hybrid of maybe working three days a week and shifting a lot of that toward just coming together and unifying our responses.

Question 2: What is your opinion on the State of Kansas highways and other infrastructure? Would you support more resources to maintain and improve infrastructure?

Our infrastructure has been in serious decay since the Brownback administration. I would suggest putting a huge emphasis on rebuilding our infrastructure so we don’t have to deal with contraction on a regular basis through our highways and our commutes to work.

If we were to fully fund it, we wouldn’t have to deal with all of this construction constantly happening on our highways and our roadways.

Another thing I see, along with infrastructure, is to add broadband in Kansas. Internet broadband is now almost a necessity because of COVID and education online. We need proper internet. And Kansas still doesn’t have full access to broadband. I would want to completely distribute broadband throughout all of Kansas, especially in the rural areas so that we can all access the internet which is almost a necessity at this point.

Question 3: Last session a big issue pushed by legislators was a Pro-Life amendment to the Kansas Constitution which only failed by four votes. Legislative leadership has said this will again be a top priority. Do you agree/disagree and how will you vote on the Value Them Both Amendment?

The Kansas Constitution upholds the right of personal autonomy, and personally I think that abortion fits into that.

I don’t necessarily think that abortion is the most morally acceptable form of birth control, and, honestly, I would like to reduce the need of abortions as much as possible. However, it is a personal freedom here in Kansas. So what I would suggest is that we increase sex education and contraceptive access here in Kansas and that would reduce the overall amount of abortions.

Banning abortions doesn’t do anything. The wealthy will always have access to abortions because they can just afford to go to another country. The only people it hurts by banning abortions are lower income women. It’s a shame that the same people who would argue against abortion are usually the same people who would argue against the best solutions to it.

Question 4: What makes you the best man for the job and what advantages or benefits do you offer over your opponent?

I would say that empathy and rationality are the two most important things in a state representative.

My opponent doesn’t really have either of those. Early in this year, he said that COVID is not a state crisis here in Kansas. And I completely disagree with that. I think it is an issue and it can be solved without partisan bickering. We need to come together and unify.

I would argue that a lot of what people want are the same thing. By picking a side on most any issue will divide you from the other group of people that you may have a lot in common with. We have more in common than we think, all of us in Kansas, even the most extreme right and the most extreme left.

I think unifying people together and the belief [that] people are more important than profits is good. I don’t believe that my opponent thinks that. And that is a very dangerous ideology that has been permeating all of Kansas and all of the United States as well for decades.

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