Archive for Sunday, July 30, 2000

Kansas Senate 12th Dist

July 30, 2000


Robert Tyson

The conservative Parker Republican seeks a second four-year term.

He is a rancher and retired airline pilot who has served on the Senate's agriculture and environment committees. He also has been on committees dealing with state employee pensions, transportation and tourism.

Before serving in the Senate, he was a member of the Unified School District 362 school board for eight years. He is a member of the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, Kansas Farm Bureau, Kansas Hereford Assn. and Kansas Livestock Assn.

His 1999 voting record earned him an 83 percent approval rating from the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Kansas-National Education Assn., a lobbying group for teachers, gave him 33 percent approval.

He opposes abortion, favors teaching of creationism in public schools and promises to be a staunch defender of the state highway fund. He is critical of proposed federal Clean Water Act regulations.

Tyson, 59, has a degree in business and economics from Ottawa University. He and his wife have two children.

Vern Chesbro

The 73-year-old Ottawan is a moderate who served as chairman of the Kansas Republican Party in 1986 and 1987.

He is chairman of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System board of trustees. His dissatisfaction with votes affecting KPERS in the past legislative session by the Republican majority prompted his challenge to Tyson, he said.

The Legislature voted to divert $35 million in payments to the KPERS death and disability fund to help balance the state budget.

Chesbro has said he would resign his KPERS post if elected to the Senate. He opposes partial-birth abortion but is otherwise pro-choice. He thinks the Legislature should re-evaluate the state school finance formula.

"I think some of our smaller schools in rural counties probably need some additional help," he said. "I don't believe that consolidation is the answer."

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