BY JADEN MOUNT
With less than three weeks away from the Kansas primaries, candidates for various positions are attempting to make their name and message known throughout the state. One of the few Republican candidates running for governor who was not a part of the Brownback administration is Jim Barnett.
Barnett comes from a farming family in Reading, Kansas, but decided to take up medicine after asthma became an issue in his youth. He has been practicing medicine since graduating from Emporia State University and Kansas University School of Medicine. His wife and lieutenant governor candidate, Rosie Hansen, is an Americus, Kansas, native and has worked overseas in various United States embassies in nations such as Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Austrailia.
Two topics of debate in Kansas today is education and the economy. Barnett believes his four-pillar plan described on his website would help the state’s economy for the future.
“The number one challenge for the next governor of Kansas is economic growth,” said Barnett. “We actually had an economy that contracted in 2017. The tax experiment hurt our state badly. So, we committed to asking businessmen and women around the state, ‘What do you need to grow?’ And that’s how we can up with this plan.”
On the topic of education, Hansen, a former attorney, showed support for the recent Kansas Supreme Court decision on the legislative funding to education. Unlike other candidates, however, Hansen stated the problem wasn’t an issue with the courts but rather a leadership issue within the governor’s office.
“We have separation of powers for a reason,” Hansen said. “And the [Kansas] Supreme Court is looking at the [state] constitution. There’ve been some candidates who’ve said, ‘They’re saying how much money has to be spent.’ They’ve never said that, but they’ve looked at the constitution to figure out is what Kansas is doing constitutional? Are we providing an equitable and adequate education for our kids? And that’s their appropriate role to determine that.”
Barnet also didn’t shy away from criticizing current Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, and the recent adoption bill passed in the previous legislative session.
“I oppose it,” Barnett said. “I would have vetoed that bill. That is the most discriminatory bill passed in this Kansas legislature in years. It is pure discrimination. I would have vetoed that. We will not discriminate in our administration. I want to make that very clear.”
If you would like to cast your vote for Jim Barnett on August 7, be sure to be a registered Republican and a resident of Kansas. For more information on voting in your area, be sure to contact the local Kansas Department of the Treasurer’s Office.