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Archive for Sunday, July 30, 2000

Kansas Senate 2nd Dist

July 30, 2000

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Sandy Praeger

The 55-year-old Lawrence Republican is a part-time health-care consultant prominent in local and state politics since 1984.

She served in the Kansas House from 1990 to 1992 and has been a state senator since 1992. She is vice chair of the Douglas County Republican Central Committee.

She has served as Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission chairperson, Lawrence mayor, Lawrence city commission member, Douglas County Development Corp. board member and Wakarusa Valley Development Corp. board member.

Praeger said there's always another battle when it comes to her key issues: Health care and insurance coverage.

"I care passionately about the health care issues, and I've spent lots of my own time and money becoming educated about those issues," Praeger said.

Education is also a top priority.

"Education's always going to be at the top of my list," Praeger said.

Praeger has a bachelor's degree in education from Kansas University.

Praeger and her husband, Mark, a physician, have two children.

Richard "Rode" Rodewald

The Eudora Republican is a farmer, lobbyist and retired engineer.

Rodewald, 64, is a self-described conservative entering his fifth political campaign in 10 years. He ran unsuccessfully for the Kansas House of Representatives in 1990, the U.S. Senate against incumbent Bob Dole in 1992 and the U.S. House in 1996.

Rodewald dropped out of a 1994 Kansas House race after he was arrested, and later acquitted, of assaulting police officers who were running in a charity relay for the Special Olympics.

Rodewald, now retired, worked 28 years as a supervisor at the General Motors assembly plant in Kansas City, Kan.. Since then, he has worked his family's two farms and lobbied in Topeka for taxpayers.

"I'm not a lawyer, but I've been to the Kansas Supreme Court five times on property tax cases," Rodewald said. "I know how to write law."

He cites his lobbying and legislative connections as experience for the Kansas Senate.

"I became interested in politics when I realized someone has to look after the law," he said. "I know from countless hearings, testifying and attending that I'd do well in the Kansas Senate."

He blames Praeger, in part, for the state's fiscal problems.

"She's the one who voted for increased spending and cutting taxes," he said. "You can't do that. She's a very liberal senator."

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