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Jeff Blubaugh faces Leslie Osterman in House District 97

  • Eagle staff
  • Published Thursday, July 12, 2012, at 10:40 a.m.
  • Updated Thursday, July 12, 2012, at 10:56 a.m.

Coming Friday

Angela Martinez challenges incumbent Ponka-We Victors in a Democratic primary in District 103 in north Wichita.

Goddard school board member Jeff Blubaugh is challenging state Rep. Leslie Osterman in the Republican primary in District 97 in southwest Wichita.

The winner of the Aug. 7 primary will face Democrat Dale Swenson in November. Swenson served in the House until being defeated by Osterman in 2010.

Osterman supports the income tax cuts signed into law by Gov. Sam Brownback and says they will make the state more competitive to attract jobs.

Blubaugh says the tax cuts are a step in the right direction, as long as they don’t lead to an increase in local taxes.

About half of the district remains the same after redistricting, but about 25 percent of its residents come from the old District 94, 16 percent from District 96 and 8 percent from District 95.

Jeff Blubaugh

Age: 40

Occupation: Real estate broker and investor

Education: Master’s degree in management, Friends University; bachelor’s degree in business, Friends; growth leadership development, Ohio State University; Six Sigma Black Belt

Experience: Goddard school board member

Phone: 316-640-0656

E-mail: jeffblubaughhomes@gmail.com

Web site: www.jeffblubaugh.com

Are the income tax cuts Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law a good thing for Kansas?

The income tax cuts were a step in the right direction as long as they do not lead to an additional increase in local taxes to offset the reduction of revenue to the state.

What further changes, if any, would you advocate in the state’s tax laws?

I would advocate for a simpler, more consistent measure for property taxes. Over the past two to three years, it does not seem the county assessment value of property has been consistent with the actual local real estate market. The assessed value needs to remain reflective of actual sales values.

How would you change the state’s laws or budget to improve K-12 education?

The state should ensure that all students receive a fair, quality education regardless of their zip code or school district. A student in Johnson County should receive the same quality education as a student in Sedgwick County.

What was the most meaningful event or experience in your life — besides births and marriages?

I have a small business that is family operated and it has brought us all closer by working as a team with a common goal. While it can be challenging at times separating business from family, I cannot think of anyone I would want to work with more than my own family.

Leslie Osterman

Age: 64

Occupation: Retired

Education: Bachelor’s in degree in health sciences, hospital administration

Experience: Current representative for District 97

Phone: 316-304-9751

E-mail: lildoc52@sbcglobal.net

Web site: www.leslieosterman.com

Are the income tax cuts Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law a good thing for Kansas?

Yes. They will help stimulate the Kansas economy. This bill may have to be tweaked some this next session, but the overall bill will help the state. If employers know that the tax rate is stable, they will invest in more equipment and hire new personnel. Also, after this law was passed, Missouri and Oklahoma governors asked their legislators to lower their tax base, giving their state a tax cut in order to compete with Kansas.

What further changes, if any, would you advocate in the state’s tax laws?

We need to slowly look at the tax plan we passed and make any changes that need to be made. I want the state to be competitive with the states that border us. Several people testified, in several different committees, that people and businesses were leaving Kansas because of the taxes.

How would you change the state’s laws or budget to improve K-12 education?

Sixty-five percent of money they receive should be directed to the class room and only 35 percent to administration. There are very few districts that presently do this. This is where the intent of the money given to them is supposed to go.

What was the most meaningful event or experience in your life — besides births and marriages?

When I was wounded in Vietnam, it made me realize how precious life is. It also showed me how we need to care for one another and to work together. If we did that we would make the world a better place.

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