Archive for Sunday, July 30, 2000

Kansas House 47th district

July 30, 2000



The GOP primary is a two-way race between Lee Tafanelli and Ken McNeill.

Lee Tafanelli

The 39-year-old Ozawkie man is a divisional manager for Business Software and Equipment, a software development company.

Tafanelli describes himself as a "fiscal conservative" who is moderate on most social issues. He's a lieutenant colonel in the Army National Guard.

He has not run for public office before.

"The reason I'm running is because I think it's time for some leadership in the Statehouse," Tafanelli said. Soon-to-retire State Rep. "Joann (Flower) has done an outstanding job and I would like to continue in her footsteps."

Tafanelli and his wife, Tammy, have two children, ages 6 and 3.

Ken McNeill

The 48-year-old Perry man has for several years been lobbyist for ABATE, a motorcycle group.

Originally from North Carolina, he has lived in Kansas 18 years. This is his first campaign for political office.

"I got tired of watching the government taking more and more of our liberties away and attaching bills they didn't like to get more federal money," McNeill said. "They were allowing them to blackmail them."

McNeill has four grown children and two grandchildren. He works on the committee for the fall festival in Perry.


Bruce Hanson of Oskaloosa, Lana Leach of rural Lawrence, and Lisa Whitehair-Carver of Ozawkie are the Democratic candidates for the 47th House District seat.

Whitehair-Carver, 40, is a kindergarten teacher in the Perry Lecompton school district. She has been a teacher for 19 years.

She has lived her entire life in Kansas. She is married to Draque Carver. She has two stepsons, 20 and 17 years old, and four children of her own, ages 7 and 5, and 2-year-old twins.

She graduated from Benedictine College in 1982 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education.

On evolution she said: "The state board of education appointed a board of experts to study this issue -- these were people who teach science every day -- and they said it was important and should be taught, I think they should have been listened to."

She said she decided to run because of an interest in children's issues and a desire to advocate quality services for children.

Leach, 58, is a real estate agent, who grew up on a farm in Jefferson County and still has a few acres near Leavenworth where her family raises cattle and runs a dairy.

"I'm fully aware of the challenges that farmers face." she said.

Leach said she would like to address the need for affordable health insurance and access to cheaper prescription medicines.

"The elderly live on fixed incomes. they're living very skimpily and cannot afford to spend $50 a month for medication."

Leach and her husband, Robin, have two children and three grandchildren.

Hanson, 54, is a lawyer, rancher and businessman.

His top priority for spending tax money is services for the elderly.

"We cannot under allocate programs that affect people's lives," he said.

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