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Archive for Sunday, March 29, 1992

ALTERNATE CHOICES AWAIT STATE VOTERS ON PRIMARY BALLOTS

March 29, 1992

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One's a Scoutmaster. Three are teachers, and one says she's following a divine directive.

What they all have in common is that they want to be president of the United States. And they are among the lesser-known of the 32 candidates who will appear April 7 on the Kansas presidential preference primary ballot.

The Journal-World was able to reach five of the eight Kansans last week whose names will appear on primary ballots either alongside Democratic front-runners Bill Clinton and Jerry Brown or Republicans George Bush and Pat Buchanan.

All of the candidates reached said they paid the $100 filing fee to enter the Kansas primary because they were upset with Bush's policies. All are also generally outside the political mainstream. And, because of meager campaign budgets, they're relying mainly on the good will of the news media to get their messages out.

ONE OF the 15 Republicans on the state's primary ballot is Philip P. Skow, Carbondale. Skow, a 38-year-old Scoutmaster, says this is his first bid for elective office.

An industrial plant employee who works the third shift at Hills Pet Products in Topeka, Skow says he entered the race for two reasons. One is to show voters they can be part of the political process.

"For too long, most of us have been sitting on the sidelines watching our rights wither away," he said.

Skow says he also entered the race because he opposes what he calls Bush's push for a new world order.

"The guy ought to be tried for treason," Skow said. "He's pushing for a one-world army. He's drooling at the mouth to be the first one to bring one-world tax. What he calls foreign aid is international welfare. I am opposed to that. That's why I jumped into the campaign."

SKOW, the father of four children, says he has long been involved with a Topeka parent-teacher group. He said he wanted children to understand that they, too, could run for president.

"The things I proposed, I don't hear Slick Willie saying," Skow said, referring to Clinton.

Skow says he also is trying to get on the primary ballot in Nebraska, Iowa and California. But he admits his campaign is a long shot.

"We're going to lose, but we need to understand we can fight another day," Skow said.

Isabell Masters, a Topeka Republican who didn't want to reveal her age, said she didn't decide to run for president on her own.

Masters said that in 1981 she was riding on a Greyhound bus leaving Washington, D.C., when God called her to run for the nation's highest office.

"I HAD this divine revelation to seek the presidency," Masters said. "It just came to me like a spirit and said to seek the presidency. It's like a call to the ministry. God justifies you, qualifies you. I was born with this gift to lead and make logical decisions all my life. And dealing with the challenges of being black, being a woman and being poor qualified me to deal with people."

Masters said this is her third run for the presidency. She was on the primary ballot in Oklahoma earlier this year and said she received about 2,000 votes.

"We really need a change now because Mr. Bush is playing a game," she said. "He's a part-time president,and he's a big joke. He's a war monger."

Masters she didn't think her chances were good at winning the GOP nomination, mainly because of lack of publicity.

"But if I could be heard, I think I would have a good chance," she said.

ANOTHER Republican on the ballot is Jack J.H. Beemont, a 75-year-old Kansas City, Kan., retired general building contractor.

Beemont, who has never held an elected public office, ran as a Republican for governor in 1990 and for several other offices.

"I ain't got any big dreams about sitting in Washington, but you never can tell what can happen," Beemont said.

Beemont said he entered the GOP primary mainly as a way to protest Bush's policies.

"I kind of want to get after Bush, and the way I thought to do it was to get on his own ticket," Beemont said. "I don't like the shape the damn country is in. We're headed for one-world government, and I don't like it. President Bush makes no bones about it. He talks about world order all the time. We fought a reveolutionary war to get away from people giving us orders."

ONE OF the 17 Democrats on the Kansas Democratic primary ballot is Raymond J. Vanskiver, a retired Wichita school teacher who has a history of running for office. The 68-year-old Democrat ran for governor in 1968 and 1970, for attorney general in 1972 and the Sedgwick County Commission in 1980. But this is the first time he has run for president.

Vanskiver's candidacy is mainly a statement against the current political institutions. He says that the people are not allowed to elect anyone anymore but that only a handful of powerful people actually make the country's decisions.

"The people in this country have not had anything to do with the selection process of the candidates for over 100 years," he said. "The last one was William Jennings Bryan."

Vanskiver, who said he has never taken a campaign contribution and is only on the ballot in Kansas, also says he is opposed to Bush's policies.

ANOTHER KANSAS Democrat on the ballot is Gary Hauptli, a 48-year-old Salina high school government teacher.

Hauptli, who ran unsuccessfully for the Kansas House in 1980, has since been involved in helping in other Statehouse political races. He said the relatively low $100 filing fee to get on the ballot made a difference in entering the race.

"I have always been interested in government and politics," he said. He describes his campaign as "semi-active" in that he has campaign buttons and has sent letters to newspapers. However, he said he has not campaigned door-to-door.

Hauptli says, "I'd like to get 40 percent of the vote. . . . Candidates like myself don't get much opportunity for visibility. So unless the newspaper takes time to publish our views, we're dead in the water. So maybe democracy is dead in the water."

His campaign is based on finding the middle ground, he said.

"My theme is kind of `meet me in the middle,'" Hauptli said. "We've got a whole bunch of extremes in this country. And I and most people are in the middle. So on most issues, I come across in that middle area."

Hauptli said he entered the race because he heard four of every 10 voters walk out of the polls wishing for another choice.

"Well, in Kansas they have another choice," he said.

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