Tim Snow, a 46-year-old former businessman and current full-time college student, said that for the last several years he has just been “learning and studying while taking my son through adolescence.”
If that doesn’t sound like much of a background for the Kansas Senate, Snow has a ready response:
“Name one credential that I’m lacking that prohibits me from doing a better job than a majority of sitting state senators. On my worst day I would do a better job than most of the senators,” he said.
Snow is facing Perry Schuckman in the Aug. 7 Democratic primary for the District 25 seat. The winner will face Libertarian Dave Thomas and the winner of the Republican primary between incumbent Jean Schodorf and Michael O’Donnell in the general election in November.
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Snow said he filed to run because he was upset when lawmakers passed the voter photo-ID law pushed by Secretary of State Kris Kobach, which he said will disenfranchise some voters He also filed to offer a Democratic alternative in case Schodorf loses to O’Donnell in the primary.
District 25 is a moderate, not a conservative, district, he said, and he wants the Senate to be controlled by moderates.
“I’m just appalled at the very idea that my district may be the district that falls and tips the balance to the conservatives in the Senate,” Snow said.
He is out to limit Gov. Sam Brownback’s “extreme agenda,” he said, adding that the governor is detached from the average citizen.
“A lot of people have been tricked into thinking that what he wants to do is in their best interest, when it’s the opposite of their best interests,” Snow said.
The recently passed tax package lowers individual income taxes and eliminates taxes on the profits business owners get from limited liability companies, subchapter S corporations and sole proprietorships. That will increase the growing tax disparity between the lowest and highest wage earners, he said, and it won’t create new jobs.
Snow said a brother who has several small businesses that will benefit from tax breaks plans to use the extra money to take a vacation out of state, not hire new workers. Snow said his brother agrees with him that the tax breaks are unfair and that they won’t stimulate job growth.
Snow, a father of two children, was born in California but moved to Wichita at age 11 after his parents divorced. He earned a GED and served in the Kansas Army National Guard. He owned a carpet cleaning business and a commercial cleaning business in Wichita, and later had a tobacco and bait shop in Council Grove, where he lived for 10 years before returning to Wichita about 3 1/2 years ago.
Snow said he closed the carpet cleaning business after losing interest in it.. He closed the commercial cleaning business when TWA, one of his major clients, went bankrupt. The business had cleaned the airline’s gate at Wichita’s Mid-Continent Airport.
He closed the tobacco and bait shop in Council Grove after a national chain opened a tobacco business nearby, he said.
Morris County court records show that the Kansas Revenue Department issued a warrant on the bait shop in 2005 for back taxes, but Snow said the lien was an error and the state ended up refunding him $4,000 for overpayments he had made.
Snow is a full-time student at Wichita State University seeking a degree in social work. He is living off his savings and some loans, he said.
He would be a quiet voice of reason and civility in Topeka, Snow said. He would be able to nudge senators who are on the fence about an issue to vote for reasonable and fair legislation.
He is happy that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the federal Affordable Care Act. The night he declared his candidacy, one of his brothers, Jon, died at age 44 of a seizure disorder. Snow said his brother might have lived if he’d had enough money to take an ambulance to the emergency room earlier that day when he wasn’t feeling well. Instead, he stayed home and went to bed.
Snow said Jon, who was disabled by the disorder and couldn’t work, didn’t want to pay the expense of taking an ambulance to the hospital earlier that day when he wasn’t feeling well. Instead, he stayed home and went to bed.
Snow said people aren’t getting adequate medical attention in this country, and he blames Republicans.
“If their agenda continues, more people will die, literally die, from lack of proper preventive care and lack of proper medicine,” Snow said.