Bob Skahan decided to run for the Kansas House after becoming fed up with partisan fighting among lawmakers that left government in gridlock.
"There is lack of real decision making," said Skahan, the Republican nominee in the 45th District House race. "We need to come to realization that we're not serving people. I can build consensus over in Topeka."
Skahan, 48, owns Resources Management Consultant, a home-based financial advisory business. He has three college degrees, including a doctorate from Kansas University.
Skahan is seeking the House seat to be vacated by retiring Rep. John Solbach, D-Lawrence. Democrat Forrest Swall and Libertarian Michael Davidson, both of Lawrence, are Skahan's opponents.
THE DISTRICT covers most of western Douglas County, plus several Lawrence precincts including North Lawrence, Old West Lawrence, Pinckney, Indian Hills and Prairie Meadows.
Skahan officially became a Republican in April. He had no political campaign experience before the August primary.
If elected, Skahan said he would be a "citizen legislator." He would concentrate on limiting state government spending, reducing fraud in welfare programs and promoting business development.
"For too long government has tried to be all things to all people," he said. "There isn't enough money to do that."
Skahan said he would reduce government regulation of business and support tax abatement programs for small and entrepeneurial companies.
"I can sum up my position with three words: jobs, jobs, jobs," he said. "I know what it takes in business to create jobs. It takes determination, insight into the marketplace."
SKAHAN SAID Swall doesn't have the business experience to grasp what it takes to create jobs.
"I don't think he has the background in business for decision making in the financial world," he said.
He said the state's welfare system has become too expensive because too many people capable of working choose to remain on government assistance.
Skahan said state taxes are too high. A statewide property tax lid should be imposed, he said.
Health care should be available to all people and health insurance costs must be brought under control, he said. He believes the federal government should solve health-care problems, not the state government.
"I'M NOT speaking of socialized medicine, but we need government intervention to help those who can't get insurance," he said. "I don't know what the states can do."
Most of Skahan's political ads mention his support for term limits on elected public officials. Legislators should be limited to four or five terms, he said. The two-year terms of House members should be expanded to three years, he said.
Skahan pledged to seek greater local control of public school budgets and curriculum.
"That would take care of a lot of problems. Right now there is too much federal and state control," he said.
In terms of higher education, Skahan said KU faculty deserve higher salaries. He doesn't favor higher taxes to accomplish that goal.
"I'd like to address that issue if we can afford to raise salaries," he said.
IMPOSING qualified admissions to the state's six public universities would be appropriate, he said.
"It sends a message to high school students that college is a business," he said.
Skahan said he wants to overhaul the state worker compensation program. The system for compensating employees injured on the job is full of fraud, he said.
"There are people who can work who are being subsidized by worker compensation," Skahan said.
He blamed lawyers for the rising cost to Kansas businesses of the state's worker compensation program.
"Small businesses are just getting killed," he said.
Skahan has called himself pro-life on abortion, but now wants to be referred to as a person "opposed to abortion." Abortion should be banned except in cases of incest, rape and when the life of the mother is threatened, he said.
Swall's advocacy for prison reform can't be justified, Skahan said. The state coddles prisoners, Skahan said.