Legislative hopefuls tout stances prior to primary
Rural Tonganoxie resident and Republican candidate for the Kansas House of Representatives 42nd District Ted Ingerson wants to be a part of the legislative process for several reasons.
The delivery professional with Geiger Ready-Mix Co. knows firsthand how rising fuel prices and affordable energy demands are affecting businesses in the state.
Ingerson, in response to a questionnaire recently sent to candidates, said he supports locating additional coal-fired power plants in Kansas but added that carbon emissions should be kept "very low" and coal-fired energy should be harvested in conjunction with other energy sources, such as wind power.
"They will bring to the state much needed jobs and revenue," Ingerson said of coal-fired power plants like the two proposed facilities that have been blocked by Kansas Secretary of Health and Environment Rod Bremby and Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius since last October.
As for reducing gasoline prices, Ingerson said, "That is something that needs to be addressed at the national level."
In response to the question, "What would be your top priority if elected to the Legislature?" Ingerson said his focus would be to "reduce spending due to budget shortfalls (and) create an atmosphere to increase new business growth."
He said all areas of the state budget should be reduced - aside from public education, if possible.
Ingerson also indicated he would not be in favor of extending state services to undocumented immigrants and would not support an increase in Kansas' cigarette tax.
Ingerson is a husband, father of five and grandfather of 11.
Budget 'top priority'
With a massive family, Connie O'Brien, one of two Republican candidates for the Kansas House of Representatives' 42nd District, knows how tight economic times can affect Kansas residents.
"I am the mother of 11 children, and I know what it means to live within a budget," O'Brien wrote in response to a questionnaire recently sent to candidates.
"Whether we like it or not, the budget will be a top priority in Kansas," the rural Tonganoxie resident said. "With a projected $188 million shortfall by 2010 and a $400 million (shortfall) the following year, we need to return to the principle of fiscal responsibility. Legislators must resist the impulse to spend. We must look for areas to cut spending and resist all efforts to raise taxes. We cannot tax ourselves into prosperity."
Asked what areas of the state budget should be trimmed, O'Brien said that government jobs, which "make up 19 percent of the total work force in Kansas," could be reduced.
"We need to curtail and downsize government growth and bureaucracies while expanding policies that promote private sector job growth," she added.
O'Brien, a graduate of St. Mary College in Leavenworth with a bachelor's degree in social studies and secondary education, is a retired teacher with Basehor-Linwood School District and currently works as a substitute teacher in McLouth.
She has also served as a precinct committeewoman since 1992 and is the current vice chair for the Leavenworth County Republican Party.
The self-described fiscal and social conservative says she is a strong supporter of education and full funding for special education.
She said she opposes state benefits for illegal aliens, supports the expansion of a coal-fired power plant in Holcomb and would not approve increasing the state cigarette tax.
"Whether it's tax relief, education, energy policy or immigration, I will work to make sure that common sense ideas and values prevail," O'Brien quipped.
ONLINE: To read the full responses from Ingerson and O'Brien to questions posed by The Tonganoxie Mirror and Basehor Sentinel, go online to basehorinfo.com /news/elections.