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Archive for Thursday, November 1, 1990

CANDIDATES IN 44TH STRESS EXPERIENCE

November 1, 1990

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Neither of the two candidates that voters in the 44th District will choose between have taken a thing for granted.

Republican Sandy Praeger and Democrat Barbara Ballard have been out beating the bushes during the campaign, going door to door telling voters where they stand.

And neither candidate is new to Lawrence voters.

For the last five years, Ballard, 45, has held a seat on the Lawrence school board, winning elections in 1985 and 1989. She served as president of the board in 1987.

Praeger, 46, was elected to the Lawrence City Commission in 1985 and served four years. In 1986-87, she served as mayor. Praeger also served two years on the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission.

Voter registration numbers would seem to favor the Republican in the race, but that didn't keep Democrat Rep. Jessie Branson from winning five House elections before announcing her retirement this year.

ACCORDING to figures provided by Douglas County Clerk Patty Jaimes, there are 13,894 registered voters in the 44th District.

The district, which in general covers west Lawrence, has 6,166 registered Republicans, 3,661 registered Democrats, and 4,068 undeclared voters, according to Jaimes. There also are five voters registered as Libertarians.

In redistricting, some small areas in the southeast part of the 44th District near Kansas University were moved from the 44th District to the 46th District. And areas around Pinckney School and the National Guard Armory were moved from the 45th District to the 44th District.

The Ballard-Praeger campaign has been relatively harmonious.

Both candidates have refrained from attacks on the other, preferring instead to tout their experience and record as good preparation for work in the Kansas House.

PRAEGER SAYS she has been "tested" as a city commissioner with issues that are similar to issues a legislator faces.

Ballard emphasizes her knowledge of school issues, and says one of the most difficult issues the 1991 Legislature will deal with is developing a new formula for distributing state aid to schools.

Both Ballard and Praeger have said a tax increase probably will be needed to allow the state to continue current programs, especially social programs.

Both candidates strongly support the Margin of Excellence, the three-year funding program for the state's universities. Ballard said she supports a cigarette tax to fund the Margin, while Praeger, although agreeing such a tax could be used as a supplement, wants to finance Margin from the state's general fund.

Both candidates say problems remain from the classification amendment and reappraisal, and the Legislature should re-examine classification rates to help homeowners and small-business owners.

ON THIS issue, Praeger is more specific. She says classification rates on business machinery should be increased to help even things out, and rates on fraternal organizations should be lowered.

Ballard says increased state aid to public schools is a way to reduce property tax rates by lowering local mill levies.

Neither candidate, however, thinks business inventory should return to tax rolls.

And both candidates say decisions on abortion should be left to the women involved and not lawmakers.

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