BY JADEN MOUNT
Three weeks from today, Tuesday, July 17, party-affiliated voters in Kansas will choose who will represent their respective party in the 2018 Midterm Elections, including the election for the next Kansas governor. Former Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Joshua Svaty (Swah-tee) is one of six Democrats in the party primary for Kansas governor.
Svaty made his first appearance in the state government at 22-years-old against a Republican incumbent “in a deeply Republican district – and was re-elected 3 times”, according to his campaign website. He was later appointed as secretary of agriculture.
“I’m a Kansas native, my family has been here for five generations,” said Svaty. “I love the state and we’ve had a rough eight years. And I think everyone in Kansas appreciates that we need a change, that it’s time for a change. And that’s why we’ve been campaigning now for a little over a year.”
As discussions continue about the future of education in the state of Kansas, Svaty believes the Kansas 2017-18 legislative session did a good job with the recent restorations but says it’s no easy task.
“It’s probably going to need some more, but there are limitations on what you can do based on how much money the state has,” Svaty said while attending the Hays Saturday Downtown Market. “I don’t think the state has any appetite for tax increases in the near future. They just had a pretty big tax increase so not going that direction for a while and so, if that’s the case, then…which I think that’s good. We need to get the economy back going again.”
Svaty is one of four candidates on both political parties who support LGBT rights and promises to restore civil protections for LGBTQ state employees, which was removed by the previous governor, Sam Brownback.
“I still think Kansas has come a long way on LGBTQ issues from when I first started fighting back for them in the early 2000’s. 14 years later now, the state’s a very different place,” said Svaty. “That being said, I still think that we have aways to go and I think that adoption bill that was passed at the end of session last year is an indication that the state’s still not done maybe doing some self-inflicted wounds in terms of how they appeal to people. We have to focus as a state on being open and send that message to people so they know and trust that they can come here and raise a family here.”
If you would like to cast your vote for Joshua Svaty on August 7, be sure to be a registered Democrat in Kansas. For more information on voting in your area, be sure to contact the local Kansas Department of the Treasurer’s Office.