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Archive for Sunday, November 2, 2008

State House of Representatives races: Kansas House District 59

November 2, 2008

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A retired school administrator and an Osage County commissioner are running for the Kansas House of Representatives seat in the 59th District.

Republican William Prescott, 53, Osage City, is a farmer in addition to being a commissioner. Jim Irey, 63, the former school administrator, is a Democrat from Melvern.

Both candidates said the state should consider changes to the legal age for driving a vehicle, which currently is 14.

There should be an increase in driving privileges with age increases, Prescott said. The current farm permit driver's license is constantly abused and impossible to enforce. The farm permit allows teens ages 14 and 15 to drive on farm-related jobs and to and from school.

Irey also would support a graduated system of licensing. Drivers who are 16 1/2 would not be allowed to drive at night with more than one passenger, he said.

The state budget, as always, will be a key issue, Irey and Prescott said.

The Legislature and the governor's office should set an example by cutting their own general funds, Prescott said. There should also be a review of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and duplication of services with county health departments and hospitals, he said. Investments by the Kansas Department of Commerce also should be scrutinized, he said.

Irey wants the Legislature to conduct a "comprehensive and thorough review" of all agencies, organizations and programs.

The 59th District includes a section of southwestern Douglas County, as well as much of Osage and Franklin counties.

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