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Lindsey faces Whipple in House District 96

  • Eagle correspondent
  • Published Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, at 7:56 a.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, at 8:55 a.m.

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Brandon Whipple

Party: Democrat

Age: 30

Occupation: Education

Education: Bachelor’s and master’s degrees, Wichita State University. Current doctoral student in leadership studies.

Experience: Former chair of the Sedgwick County Democratic Party

Phone: 316-290-9447

E-mail: brandon.whipple@gmail.com

Website: www.whippleforkansas.com

1. More and better jobs come from a healthy business environment. We need to invest in our future — immediately, by supporting small businesses and training skilled workers; and long-term, by making sure our children get an education that prepares them for success.

2. Governor Brownback’s budget included the largest cut to education funding in Kansas history to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations. The first priority that I will have if elected is representing the interests of my community, and my neighbors tell me that they are worried about getting good jobs back in Kansas and making sure our kids get the highest-quality education. Any tax plan that doesn’t do those things is bad for Kansas.

3. When I talk to a parent in my district who is struggling to make ends meet in this economy, and they’re worried about how they will be able to afford a medical check-up for their kid, I can’t understand why we would reject a program that would help these hard-working families have access to affordable health care coverage. This is one of the provisions of the act that is good for Kansas.

4. The way judges get selected now is independent and non-partisan. We’ve seen the way Topeka deals with these important matters when they are politicized — just look at this year’s redistricting fiasco! What we need is responsibility in Topeka, not more politicians looking out for themselves and their friends.

5. I fully support the Second Amendment and the protections it provides for citizens, and I am proud to be the candidate with the highest NRA rating in this election. Students, teachers, and administrators on college campuses should have the right to decide for themselves what will be allowed on their campus or not.

More online

To see where the candidates stand on more issues, including abortion, immigration and alcohol sales in grocery stories, go to the online voters guide at Kansas.com/politics.

More information

Rick Lindsey

Party: Republican

Age: 47

Occupation: Loss prevention

Education: Baker University

Experience: Precinct committeeman

Phone: 316-266-4699

E-mail: rickgop@att.net

Website: ricklindsey.com

1. First, it is important to create an economic climate attractive to the business community so jobs not only come here, but remain here. Second, working with others, I would evaluate whether we are meeting technical training requirements, with the goal of preserving our high-value workforce. I would also work at reducing unnecessary regulations which add significant costs to doing business, and therefore job creation.

2. Yes, overall. Kansas needs to have a competitive tax structure to compete for jobs and economic development. Right now, as a result of lower taxes, other states surrounding us are better able to attract business and residents. Due to initial costs, I would have supported cuts to income tax alone, instead of income and sales taxes.

3. No. Medicaid programs are already expanding in cost, and the rate of increasing growth cannot be sustained. These programs should be paid for, but the federal budget will not allow for significant increases. States should not be required to add more to this program, burdening taxpayers with new bills. We must ensure these government programs are efficient, but also plan to address the needs of low-income residents through increasing job-creation and education options.

4. Yes. The current system in Kansas does not provide adequate accountability, due to a commission comprised of a majority of private attorneys determining who is suitable to be nominated. The federal system, though not perfect, provides the best model for Kansas, as it is the best system to provide accountability to court appointments. Elected senators’ confirmation would act as an additional safeguard to Kansas residents.

5. It is difficult to accept or explain the increases in violence on college campuses. However, we cannot hold gun owners responsible for the insidious actions of a few. Individuals who commit violent acts are not concerned with laws, so qualified individuals should have the right to protect themselves when campus police may not be available. Colleges may have some ability to regulate what happens on campus. These regulations shouldn’t stop responsible protection.

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House District 96

This district covers parts of south Wichita. The seat is open because incumbent Republican Rep. Phil Hermanson was placed in another district by redistricting.

1. What specific changes would you make to provide more good-paying and fulfilling jobs for Kansans?

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

3. The Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act allows states to decide whether to opt in to expansion of Medicaid for low-income citizens. Should Kansas participate in the expansion?

4. Would you support the governor appointing and Senate confirming appellate court judges?

5. Do you support letting qualified people carry concealed weapons on college campuses?

House District 96 in south Wichita has experienced some border shuffling.

Court-ordered redistricting left the district’s current representative, Republican Phil Hermanson, to run against another incumbent, Democrat Geraldine Flaharty, in District 98.

That leaves newcomers Republican Rick Lindsey and Democrat Brandon Whipple vying to represent the district.

“I had no intention on being in this race until the redistricting,” Whipple said. Because the districts were decided by court, he added, the boundaries were based on numbers and not on politics.

Lindsey said he had already decided to run before the district boundaries were decided. He was shifted from District 98 to 96.

A little less than one-half of the residents in District 96 come from Districts 97 and 98. District 96 is now drawn into a rough square with Pawnee, 47th Street, Meridian and Hydraulic serving as borders.

Although both candidates now live in south Wichita, they come from different backgrounds. Lindsey grew up on a farm outside Eureka. Whipple, the son of a carpenter, was raised in Dover, N.H. Lindsey studied business at Baker University. Whipple earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Wichita State University. He is currently finishing his dissertation for his doctorate in leadership.

Whipple, 30, who teaches part time at Tabor College, has worked in education and human services; Lindsey, 46, who works in loss prevention at Diamond Security, has managed businesses and worked in law enforcement.

Both candidates say they have a passion to help others. Lindsey serves in the U.S. Navy Reserve and volunteers at a prison ministry. Whipple has volunteered at South High School and the South Wichita Business Association.

Both men believe in their district and want what they believe is best for their constituents.

For both, that means not raising property taxes.

“I would like to see them (property taxes) go lower,” Lindsey said. “Keeping in mind that we have to fund essential services like education and senior services.”

Lindsey and Whipple also want to see jobs and businesses come to Kansas. Both men are proponents of tax incentives for businesses coming into the state. Whipple wants to give those incentives only to companies that are creating jobs in Kansas. Lindsey believes tax cuts are key to attracting businesses.

“Before recent tax cuts, Kansas was not competitive to surrounding states,” Lindsey said. He believes these cuts will help attract jobs and businesses. He said he also wants to reduce regulations.

Both men say they support higher education and the need for technical training. They see employee skills as going hand-in-hand with attracting companies.

Whipple did not support the recent tax cuts. He said, “Middle class tax cuts stimulate the economy much better than just cuts to the most wealthy. If we are going to cut taxes anywhere, we should cut it on foods.”

Lindsey is supportive of the recent income tax cuts but said he did not support lowering the sales tax.

Gov. Sam Brownback said last week that he has not ruled out trying to keep the sales tax at the current rate rather than letting it drop as scheduled next year.

Whipple said too much money has been taken from education. “Schools are being funded at the same level as they were 11 years ago,” he said. “I want to make sure in the next budget we restore revenues back to education. We want to make sure our (south side) schools are just as well funded as other schools.”

Lindsey said he also is concerned about education. He does not support any cuts to education, but he wants to examine the costs, funnel money toward the classroom, lower administrative costs and “streamline the regulatory climate imposed by the federal government.”

Both candidates say they are strong supporters of the Second Amendment and believe that citizens have the right to carry guns.

“I believe we have enough regulations,” Lindsey said. “We need to do what we can to make lives better for Kansans. To do that we need to create more jobs and make our state more competitive.”

Whipple, who also wants jobs to come to Kansas, calls himself a moderate. “I don’t buy into ideology as much as I buy into common sense,” he said. “Overall, I feel the south side needs a voice of common sense.”

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