K.C. Ohaebosim is intent on an issues-oriented campaign in his second run against Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau in Wichitas 29th District.
Ohaebosim, 33, a customer support specialist for Honeywells Wichita utility division, is wholeheartedly opposed to Gov. Sam Brownbacks tax cuts, saying meaningful tax reform must include a progressive tax system and some type of property tax reform.
He wants to get more money into Kansas public-school classrooms and he favors an aggressive incentive-oriented approach to economic development.
What he doesnt want to do is launch an attack on some of the incumbents problems, like Faust-Goudeaus attempts to get out of speeding tickets and housing violations against her property.
The people whose doors Im knocking on, those are people who want to talk about the issues that confront our district, said Ohaebosim. The issues with Oletha, the other stuff, its not something Im going to push. Its up to each individual voter to decide how much weight they want to give them.
Ohaebosim, who lost to Faust-Goudeau in 2008, said the run fits in with his personal emphasis on community service. He holds city and USD 259 advisory positions, working as a board member on the District 1 Advisory Board and on the school districts oversight committee.
Public service is a bug he caught at Wichita State University, where he was involved in student government while earning a degree in management information systems.
After earning that degree, he began working for various political candidates before deciding to run himself.
I want to serve, he said. I think public service is a very noble and very important thing.
Ohaebosim is openly critical of Brownbacks income tax cuts and the performance of the legislature last session, calling the cuts a bad deal that stand little or no chance of creating growth.
What they will create is a $2.5 billion deficit in a few years that will cost us major service cuts, he said.
Hes fearful that education will be crippled when Brownbacks tax cuts fail.
Weve got to get more money into the classrooms, Ohaebosim said. Education is the foundation of growing our state economy, and its essential that we provide well-trained workers to retain and grow our business base.
With that said, Ohaebosim supports the additional $40 million in base state aid for schools in the state budget. He also praised the Wichita projects in the governors budget, including $5 million for the program subsidizing low-cost airline flights in and out of Wichita, and the $1 million for the citys project to put water back into the aquifer.
Ohaebosim considers himself a pro-business candidate, advocating lower business taxes and tax breaks for companies relocating to the state essentially fighting incentive-wielding neighboring states with Kansas own package of aggressive incentives.
The incentives will pay off in more tax revenue, Ohaebosim said.
I think its critical the state increase its efforts to recruit new businesses, primarily to broaden our state tax base, he said.