Health care, property taxes, illegal immigration and education are the issues most discussed by the three candidates vying for the 10th District House seat.
Incumbent Tom Holland, a Baldwin Democrat, said if re-elected he would reintroduce a three-year pilot program giving uninsured small-business employees access to the state-employee health plan.
Franklin County Commissioner Roy Dunn, an Ottawa Republican, said he would focus on making sure Kansas taxpayers don't pick up the tab for ever-higher Medicaid bills as federal contributions decrease.
Robert Garrard, an Edgerton Libertarian, said he would like to showcase his Libertarian ideals of eliminating state income and property taxes.
"In the meantime," said the electronics technician, "I'd be happy just to accomplish whatever reductions we can get through."
Holland and Dunn both said they wanted to freeze property taxes for the elderly. But Holland would make it permanent for seniors in certain income groups while Dunn would defer higher assessments for all seniors over 65 until their property was sold.
Candidates for the 10th District, Kansas House of Representatives
Name and hometown: Tom Holland, Baldwin Birthdate: July 23, 1961 Spouse and children: Barbara Holland; Thomas, Derrek, Brandon, Louisa Job: President, Holland Technologies Inc., an information technology professional services firm Political affiliation: Democrat Church-religious affiliation: Protestant Previous elected positions: Two terms representing the 10th District Name and hometown: Roy Dunn, Ottawa Birthdate: April 12, 1945 Spouse and children: Debbie Dunn; Kristi, Sara Job: Farmer and rancher, Franklin County commissioner Political affiliation: Republican Church-religious affiliation: Westminster Presbyterian Church, Ottawa Previous elected positions: Franklin County commissioner Name and hometown: Robert Garrard, Edgerton Birthdate: April 6, 1961 Spouse and children: Armie Garrard; no children Job: Electronics technician at Aeroflex Test Solutions in New Century Political affiliation: Libertarian Church-religious affiliation: None Previous elected positions: None
"If you forgive taxes for one segment, another will have to pick up the difference," Dunn said. "And right now, no one is saying who will pick up the difference."
Garrard said he wants government out of education and medical coverage altogether. He also supports tighter restrictions on immigration.
Holland and Dunn agreed jobs were being taken from legal U.S. residents by illegal immigrants. They both support eliminating in-state university tuition rates for illegal immigrants.
Holland, who owns an information technology company, said "my greatest strength in the House is truly being an independent voice for my constituents. I'm not a party guy. Sometimes if that's being a lone voice in the wind, I've done that."
Holland, who has $30,000 to draw from for this campaign, said he also wants to reintroduce a bill to increase state penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants.
While Holland touted his support for a $600 million House plan for K-12 education, Dunn said that was too costly.
The Ottawa farmer said he supported a $466 million, three-year school funding compromise approved by lawmakers in the last session.
Garrard, who is spending less than $500 on his campaign, said he would like to replace government-run education with a system run by private companies and nonprofit organizations.
Dunn said his self-funded campaign of $10,000 would be spent on radio, newspaper and direct mailing. He claims he is not bound by any special interests. Although Dunn has received $100 from the Kansas Contractors Assn. and $250 from Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, he said neither contribution was solicited.
A July disclosure report listed various donors to Holland's campaign, including 11 political action committees that each gave between $100 and $500.
The 10th District in Douglas and Franklin counties includes parts of Lawrence and Ottawa and all of Baldwin and Wellsville. The election is Nov. 7.