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Rhoades, Bunting to face off in Newton GOP primary

  • By Eagle staff
  • Published Tuesday, July 15, 2014, at 7:09 a.m.

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House District 72, Republican primary

The winner of this primary faces no opposition in November.

Barbara Bunting

Age: 60

City: Newton

Occupation: Community volunteer

Education: Bachelor’s degree, Illinois State University; master’s of education, Wichita State University

Experience: Newton USD 373 school board since 2001

Phone: 316-288-0423

E-mail: Bbunting1@gmail.com

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

The largest share of job growth will come from existing employers. The state needs to help existing employers grow. This creates new jobs. I would urge a review of existing government regulations to see what is really needed as opposed to being burdensome. Government must balance the need for regulation with the burden it places on business. The state must also actively recruit new business.

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

Education must be adequately funded. Our educators cannot do what we ask them to do without resources. I have served on the local school board for 13 years. Those that continually advocate for “more efficiency” and “more cuts” simply have not been in the trenches. After many years of cuts, more resources must be provided if we want our schools and students to succeed.

How do you define yourself politically?

I am a commonsense conservative. Legislation must be workable and actually make sense rather than simply being idealogically pure. Constituents in my district want legislators to get to work, solve problems and end the childish bickering. Government must be right-sized, not eliminated.

Marc Rhoades

Age: 53

City: Newton

Occupation: College instructor online; state representative

Education: Bachelor’s degree, Kansas State; executive MBA, Friends University

Experience: State representative since 2007; chair, House Appropriations, 2011-2014; worked in Reagan White House

Phone: 316-284-9725

E-mail: marcrhoades@cox.net

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

Continue toward zero income tax rate, remove barriers to entrepreneurship which, in turn, encourages job growth.

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

Good outcomes aren’t simply about how much is spent, but how it is spent. Not enough makes it to teachers and classrooms. One of my priorities is to see funding tied to measurable outcomes.

How do you define yourself politically?

Reagan conservative – fiscally and socially.

To learn more

See the print voter guide in Sunday’s paper or go to the online voter guide at Kansas. com beginning Thursday.

Coming Wednesday

Rep. Dennis Hedke faces a challenge from Randy Banwart, an operations manager at Spirit AeroSystems, in District 99, which straddles east Wichita and Andover.

Rep. Marc Rhoades of Newton faces a Republican primary challenge from Barbara Bunting, a Newton school board member.

Rhoades, a college instructor online, has been a state representative since 2007. He says growing private sector business and jobs, while maintaining core services, is the biggest issue facing the state.

Bunting says the biggest state issue is adequately funding schools.

Rhoades served four years as the chair of the House Appropriation Committee, which oversees budget negotiations in the House. He stepped down from that job in March, saying the House leadership’s funding plan for schools was unsustainable and did not tie spending to measurable education outcomes.

He later voted for a different school funding bill that included some education reforms. He called that bill the Legislature’s best decision this year in response to an Eagle voter guide question, writing that it included “policy pieces to begin to begin addressing adequacy (of school funding), which is now tied to outcomes versus dollar amounts.”

Bunting, in her voter guide response, called that bill the Legislature’s worst decision: “When faced with a court order to equalize funding for our schools, rather than simply get to the task, they loaded the bill up with controversial policy matters that could not stand on their own. Many policies that survived in the final bill had no hearings.”

To learn more about the candidates, go to Page 7A.

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