Democrat gubernatorial candidate discusses issues
Kansans will go to the polls on Aug. 7, 2018, to vote in the Primary Election. Kansas will also be one of 36 states holding an election for governor in 2018.
Former Wichita mayor, Carl Brewer, was the first Democrat to enter the race on Feb. 20, 2017. Brewer’s strong following can be attributed to his common sense approach and proven track record.
Brewer’s first full-time job was at a meat packing plant when he was 16 years old. He graduated from Wichita North High School in 1975 and attended Friends University. He worked in the aviation industry (Boeing, Spirit, and Cessna) for 32 years. He began as a sheet metal worker. He joined the Machinists Union and became a union steward. He later moved forward as a manufacturing engineer and eventually moved onto the management team at Spirit Aviation. Brewer retired from Spirit in early 2017.
Brewer served in the Kansas Army National Guard, becoming the first African American President of his Officer Candidate School Class. He served as Company Commander of infantry and artillery companies for the Kansas National Guard.
Born and raised in Wichita, Brewer and his wife are the parents of four children, 13 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
He recently chose another ex-mayor as his running mate for the nomination for governor. Brewer announced that former Gardner Mayor Chris Morrow as his choice for lieutenant governor.
Morrow was a Garden City Council member before serving as mayor for more than four years, stepping down in January. Morrow is a U.S. Navy veteran, who operated an employment agency and holds a real estate license.
“Chris has experience like no one else. We have similar backgrounds and experiences. We’re a good balance and a proven track record for reaching across the aisle,” Brewer explained during a recent visit to the Times-Gazette office.
“Regardless of politics, we want what’s best for our communities and people. Chris and I understand the heavy lifting and working together. I’m a hands on person and it’s important that the Lt. Governor be, too,” Brewer added, “When the campaign is over, it’s not really over. You have to reach out to the people and have them come to the table. As mayor, I helped provide average citizens the opportunity to have a voice and always explained how decisions made would affect them, whether it was positive or negative.”
His passion for inclusion, promoting Kansas and its businesses and residents, was evident in his tenure on the Kansas League of Municipalities, as a member and president. He has chaired and served on other state economic coalitions and boards, as well.
Brewer has visited China several times promoting Kansas and its industries.
“We need to expand trade for Kansas businesses beyond our borders to bring high quality jobs to grow our economy.”
He shares that making common sense a more common approach in state government is possible.
“We have a challenge. You can sit back and accept it or get involved and make some changes. At the state level, we have legislators who give no thought to their decisions. Our state government is a tool and resource,” he said. “If your people and communities are successful, then the state is successful. We have a vision to make that happen.”
Solar and alternative energy for Kansas
“We need to take a serious look at alternatives. Kansas has a wealth of opportunities. We need to think about stepping outside the regular boundaries and start expanding our growth and economy to other areas. We must be smarter about what we’re doing and use our resources wisely.”
“Accessible health care for everyone is very important. I wouldn’t have done what Brownback did - giving the money back. We should never allow our ego to get so big to sacrifice the health and welfare of the people who we represent.”
“The state needs to ensure both urban and rural schools have the same resources as wealthier districts. School funding should return to the constitutional formula. We cannot continue to gamble with our state’s economic and social future by undermining funding for public education.”
Legalization of marijuana
“We must use our resources wisely. It’s time to get serious about legalizing marijuana. It grows well in Kansas and doesn’t need a lot of water. Kansas could solve its budget problems - we could even eliminate the sales tax on food and prescription drugs and keep other sources of tax revenue at modest levels...We could treat it like alcohol with a legal age and restrictions. No one’s life should be destroyed. We need to look at things differently.”
Responsible gun control
“I served in the military and was trained to safely use different kinds of high-powered, automatic weapons. Years later as a Sergeant and Captain in the Reserves, I trained hundreds of our soldiers to use these powerful weapons. I own guns and enjoy hunting. I don’t have an AR15 in my arsenal and never had trouble getting game - no one else needs one, either...Some people like to say ‘it’s my right to own one (AR15)’. I support the Second Amendment, but our forefathers were using muskets, not semi-automatics. Machine guns are regulated. There should be no issue with registration and holding people accountable. We must be vigilant in our efforts also to protect our law enforcement officers from devastating firepower coming too easily into the hands of people who can’t be trusted to obey the law.”
Brewer has said that as governor, he would support and sign a law banning the sale in Kansas of bump stocks, a device that turns a rifle into an automatic weapon, and banning the sale or usage in Kansas of bullet-storage devices that hold more than 15 rounds.
Get out and vote
Going to the polls is important to the candidate.
“There comes a time when we have to stand up and make things happen. If you’re concerned, get out and vote. Encourage others to get registered and vote.”
Carl Brewer will be included in the slate of candidates participating in El Dorado’s Gubernatorial Candidate Forum at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 14, at the El Dorado Civic Center.