Candidates discuss the issues

The El Dorado Civic Center was crowded Thursday evening for the Butler County Gubernatorial Forum.  On stage were five Democrats, five Republicans, one Libertarian, and one Independent candidate.
The event was sponsored by the Butler County Farm Bureau, El Dorado Chamber of Commerce and the City of El Dorado.
The questions focused on top issues; health care, education, and property taxes.  The following are takeaways from the candidates and the evening’s program.

Arden Andersen, Democrat
The doctor is also a farmer and a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, who is tired of politics as usual.  He believes the health care system needs overhauled.
“By overhauling Medicaid, we can extend it  to twice the number of people without raising taxes.”
He stated that education funding must include expanding technical education training,  and that legislative policies must make it easier for small businesses to start and succeed in Kansas.
Andersen’s running mate is Alexander Cline.
More information on Andersen can be found at:

Jim Barnett, Republican
Barnett, a physician and former state senator, was the Republican 2006 nominee for governor.  He has chosen his wife Rosie Hansen to be his running mate. As a former school board member, the education funding issue is important, as well as the economy.
“Many Kansans are living month to month, paycheck to paycheck.  Balancing the budget is most important and providing more and better jobs for families and children.”
More information on Barnett and his #OneKansas Agenda at:

To view video of event go to:

Jack Bergeson, Democrat
Bergeson is the youngest candidate and believes Kansans are looking for something new.  He is in favor of tax reforms and stopping the 1 percent from holding the state’s wealth.  The reforms would help education and the infrastructure.
“We need to elect a governor with new vision.  Money should not be an influence in politics.  I’ve taken no PAC funds and no contributions over $500...We can’t let the old political machine run the State.”
Alexander Cline is Bergeson’s running mate.  You can find more information at Jack Bergeson for Kansas Governor on Facebook.

Carl Brewer, Democrat
The former Wichita mayor, officer in the Kansas Army National Guard and manufacturing engineer, wants Kansas to know that he’s listening and believes everyone can help solve many of the issues facing the state.  He is a proponent of economic development, health care  should be affordable, accessible and comprehensive, and that the school finance formula needs to ensure adequate and fair funding for all districts.
“People feel like no one is listening and that they’ve been forgotten.  We must listen to them.  They are part of the solution.  We must create a government that addresses the issues.  We must not let our egos get in the way.”
Chris Morrow is Brewer’s Lt. Governor choice.  Information on Carl Brewer can be found at:

Jeff Caldwell, Libertarian
The fourth generation Kansan has been involved in politics for more than 10 years and  has a common sense approach to the issues. He would like to abolish sales tax on food and water.
“I may be looked at as an outsider...I’m not personally invested and would like to serve the interest of all individuals.  I believe in transparency in government and would like to see all government live-streamed.  There needs to be an accountability...The gas tax is too damn high.  It’s time to make a real change.”
Caldwell has chosen Mary Gerit as his running mate.  More information at:
Laura Kelly, Democrat
Kelly grew up in a military family and was the leader of the Kansas Recreation and Park Association.  She was elected to the Kansas Senate in 2004 and is proud to have worked with both Republicans and Democrats.  She advocates for fiscal responsibility, balancing the budget and holding the Department of Children and Families accountable.
“We chose to live in Kansas because of the deep sense of communities, the stellar public school system, and the strong and steady government...We need to find a path back to how it was with Governor Graves...It takes working together with the legislators.  I have those relationships.”
Lynn Rogers is Kelly’s running mate. More information on Laura Kelly:

Rick Kloos, Independent
Kloos has served in the clergy for 30 years and been in public service most of his life.  He is new to politics, but is passionate about making some changes for the state and residents.  He knows that current problems won’t go away quickly, but proposes adjustments along the way.  He also believes that now is a good time for and Independent in Kansas.
“I knew that I needed to do something.  Kansas is in a pivotal place and we need to put it back in the hands of the people...We need to reach out to our young people and keep Kansas home.”
Kloos has chosen his son Nathaniel Kloos as his running mate.  More information on Kloos can be found at:

Ken Selzer, Republican
Selzer is a CPA, Kansas Insurance Commissioner, and executive director of a brokerage and insurance service firm, believes in running the government more efficiently, and is a strong proponent for growing the agriculture industry.
“We can ease the tax burden by leaning in on the costs.  We can do better.  We need to be more responsive and invest in the infrastructure and education.  Let’s make Kansas grow.”
Jen Sanderson is Selzer’s running mate.  Find more information at:

Josh Svaty, Democrat
Svaty was a state representative at the age of 22 and served as Secretary of Agriculture, introducing legislation that protected the state’s water supplies and private property rights at the same time. He is the only candidate who has campaigned in every Kansas county.
“I love Kansas and I’m not going to watch this state fall apart. We must prepare Kansas for the next generation...State government needs to be partners with local governments. Our leaders must return to the Kansas traditions.”
Katrina Lewison is Svaty’s choice for Lt. Governor and more information can be found at:

The majority of the candidates support the legalization of marijuana as a common sense solution toward balancing the state’s budget.  Also discussed were growing tourism, property taxes, and providing more funding to technical schools and community colleges.

Appearing on behalf of candidates who were absent, but not participating in the Q and A portion of the program were Wink Hartman, running mate of Kris Kobach, Republican; Patricia Reitz, running mate of Patrick Kucera, Republican; and Lt. Gov. Tracey Mann for Gov. Jeff Colyer, Republican.  The three shared some personal information about each of their candidates.
Important dates in Kansas elections
Party Primaries, Aug. 7
Mail-in deadline, July 17 (postmarked)
On-line deadline, July 17
Vote in person, July 17

General Election
Early voting, Oct. 22 - Nov. 5, 2018
Vote in person, Nov. 6
Voter registration deadline, Oct. 16
Kansas General Election
Nov 6, 2018
Early Voting: Oct 22, 2018 - Nov 5, 2018
Voter Registration Deadline
Tue Oct 16, 2018
Request For Absentee Ballot: Fri Nov 2
Absentee Ballot Deadline: Tue Nov 6
Check out video coverage of the forum on the Butler County Times-Gazette Facebook page.