Cox facing opponent in election
Despite his opponents seemingly nonexistent campaign, Kansas state Rep. Ray Cox has continued his bid for re-election.
Cox, a Bonner Springs Republican, will face off Nov. 7, with Democratic challenger Linda Schuttler, for the 39th District seat in the Kansas House.
Cox has yet to have a debate with Schuttler, who was a no-show at a forum last week in Kansas City, Kan. A televised forum with the candidates also was cancelled because Schuttler, a small business owner in Olathe, declined to participate.
Schuttler did not return telephone messages in regards to this story. However, she has been reported as saying she ran for election to give people more than one choice.
I cant count her out because theres still the opposition vote, Cox said.
Cox said he would treat this campaign like any other.
Im still out talking with constituents, we have the yard signs going and my people will start going door to door, he said.
One of the biggest issues facing the Kansas Legislature is education. Cox has been fortunate to represent growing school districts in Bonner Springs, Basehor-Linwood, Olathe and DeSoto.
However, he realizes some school districts, such as Shawnee Mission, are shrinking in size, which has caused a loss in funding under the current formula on local-option property tax budgets.
I know the Governor has appointed a task force to study the issue, and Ill have to see what theyve come up with, but I believe something needs to be done, he said.
He favors giving more local control to school districts and removing the lid on LOBs.
Cox also supports the state coming up with alternative plans for supporting the disabled and lessening the burden of criminal corrections on local communities.
The legislature passed judicial reforms last year, placing more responsibilities on counties.
We already have overcrowded jails and now theyll have more to take care of without the funding, he said.
He wants to see additional funding for the home-based community services for the mentally and physically disabled, which he says are plagued with a lack of space and are understaffed.
Cox has always been a staunch supporter of allowing gambling at Kansas racetracks.
We lose millions of dollars each year to Missouri, he said. I would like to bring back the money Kansas residents are spending at the Missouri boats and put that money to use here.
Although not a state legislative issue, he wants to continue in the on-going discussions regarding the Kansas Department of Transportations plans to expand K-7 Highway and I-70.
We have the governors ear right now and its important we get something set with KDOT, Cox said.
The current plan, he said, would hurt Bonner Springs business owners and future development in the K-7 corridor.
Its a very important issue, he said.