Five of six Republican candidates for Kansas House districts in Douglas County made it clear Monday they believe state government needs new leadership.
"It's time for new blood in the Legislature," said Tom Lemon, Meriden, who is challenging 47th District Rep. Joann Flower, R-Oskaloosa.
Of course, Flower was the only House candidate at the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce's public forum who didn't advocate a shakeup in the Legislature.
"This is a time for experience," Flower said.
The city hall forum was broadcast by Sunflower Cablevision and radio station KLWN. It was limited to candidates in contested primary races. Two chamber forums in October will be open to all November general election candidates.
THIS FORUM covered the 44th, 45th and 47th House districts, the Senate's 19th District and the Douglas County Commission's 2nd District.
In the 44th District of western Lawrence, the GOP primary pits IBM marketing representative Michael Walsh and Brian Kubota, president and chief executive of Landplan Engineering.
Kubota, 49, said his priorities would be jobs and education, particularly maintaining the vitality of Kansas University, an economic and cultural cornerstone of Lawrence.
For the 46-year-old Walsh, the top goal would be the state budget. He supports an immediate freeze on spending.
"There is money in the state," he said. "I'd look for revenue from savings."
Kubota and Walsh said they don't think state legislators have been doing their job well.
"The government works for you and I. Lately, it has not," Kubota said.
BOTH CANDIDATES also endorse imposition of qualified admissions at state universities, support continuation of the state lottery, oppose applying the state sales tax to services, like the idea of term limits for elected officials and are pro-choice on abortion.
Bob Skahan, Lawrence, and Martha Parker, rural Clinton, are competing for support of Republican voters in the 45th District, which covers western and southern Douglas County, North Lawrence and precincts in northern and southwest Lawrence.
Parker, 63, is curator of the Clinton Lake Museum and a former elementary school teacher. Skahan, 47, owns Resource Management Consultants.
The survivor of the primary will be opposed by Democrat Forrest Swall and Libertarian Michael Davidson. The general election winner will replace Rep. John Solbach, D-Lawrence, who is retiring.
PARKER AND Skahan support the death penalty. Parker said capital punishment would be a deterrent to people contemplating murder.
"It's time we sent a message to people," Skahan said. "If you take a life, your life should be taken."
Skahan supports qualified admissions for state universities, including KU. Parker has reservations about setting guidelines.
Skahan said he's pro-life on abortion, but didn't think the issue was significant to the 1992 election. Parker said she is pro-choice.
In the 47th District, Flower and Lemon are competing for the right to meet Democrat Kaye Messer in the general election. The district covers Jefferson County and northeast Douglas County.
Lemon, 24, is a third-year law student at Washburn University and a law clerk for a Topeka firm. He said his priorities as a House member would be economic development and education.
FLOWER, 57, has represented the district for two terms. She said she would continue to work on issues dealing with health care, treatment of rural communities, state spending and economic development.
Flower said she supported the death penalty. She considers it a form of self-defense for society. Lemon opposes capital punishment, because it's not a proven deterrent and too costly to apply.
Lemon supports continuation of the state lottery because it provides important funding for state programs.
"I do not support extension of the lottery," Flower said. "Gambling is a very poor way to finance state government."