Editorial: Paul Davis is the clear choice

photo by: Journal-World Photo Illustration

Lawrence Journal-World Editorial

Paul Davis’ experience in the Kansas Legislature, his bipartisan track record and the lack of credible opposition make him the clear choice to replace Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins as the representative in the 2nd District.

Davis, a Democrat who served 12 years in the Kansas House of Representatives before making an unsuccessful bid for governor in 2014, committed during a debate Thursday night to putting the interests of the 2nd District ahead of his party. He noted that his campaign has been endorsed by 36 current and former Republican office holders in the district. He touted his bipartisan track record of reaching across the aisle during his tenure in the Legislature, noting that he voted with Republicans a majority of the time.

He pledged that he would not support Nancy Pelosi as speaker if the Democrats gain control of the House. “I’m an American and a Kansan before I’m a Democrat,” he said.

On immigration, Davis supports enhanced border security with additional resources at the border, including better support for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement or ICE. He supports an earned path to citizenship but does not support sanctuary cities.

Davis said he supports preserving aspects of the Affordable Care Act, such as ensuring coverage for pre-existing conditions and providing coverage for children until they are 26. He believes the rising costs of prescription drugs must be addressed.

Davis opposes recently imposed tariffs and a growing trade war with China, saying they are harmful to Kansas farmers. He supports Republican Sen. Pat Roberts’ and the Senate’s version of the Farm Bill.

Davis supports ensuring funding is available for Social Security now and in the future. He opposes privatizing Social Security.

And he said he supports President Trump’s call for increased investment in rebuilding America’s infrastructure.

Most importantly, Davis appears to have a far better informed and more reasoned position on nearly every issue than his Republican opponent, Steve Watkins, whose campaign seems to boil down to being a “build-the-wall guy” and trying to tie Davis to Pelosi.

Serious questions exist about Watkins’ background. He has been exposed for falsely embellishing his business resume and adventure sports experience and falsely claiming to have provided “heroic leadership” to other Mount Everest climbers during a 2015 earthquake in Nepal. He has spent most of the past 12 years living in Alaska, where he still owns condos while renting in Topeka since last year. Records indicate that the first time the 41-year-old voted in a Kansas election was last year.

Simply put, Watkins appears to have done little to prepare to serve Kansans in Congress. Instead, his candidacy seems like little more than his next adventure, along the lines of climbing Everest and competing in the Iditarod.

People often say they are independent-minded and vote for the best candidate, regardless of party affiliation. If that’s true, Davis’ longtime service to Kansas, commitment to bipartisanship and thoughtful stances on the issues will propel him to a landslide win in 2nd District.


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