The candidates for State Treasurer, Senate District 13 and Commissioner of Insurance were among the 25 candidates to speak at the July 31 Candidate Forum at Fort Scott High School.
Following are excerpts from their responses to questions submitted to the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce and read to the candidates by the moderator, Tim McKenney.
Marci Francisco, a candidate for state treasurer, said she received a warm welcome from Fort Scott when she completed the Bike Across Kansas this summer.
Francisco is a 4th generation Kansan, had a career at KU, was on the Lawrence City Commission in 1979, mayor of Lawrence from ’81-’83, has non-profit involvement, serves as a tax partner for a small business, State Senator from 2004-2018 serving on the ways and means and assessment and tax committee.
“The state treasurer has the responsibility for overseeing the receipts and expenditures of the state. We should ask for those reports to be placed on the website and ….provide search tools for those reports.”
She said the recent governors have spent more than the state took in. She wants to promote financial literacy and also help return unclaimed property.
Commissioner of Insurance: Two candidates answered questions at the forum.
Although not present, candidate Clark Shultz sent a spokesperson to say to the forum that Schultz is pro-life, pro 2nd Amendment and has Insurance experience, served in the House and Senate and is currently the state assistant insurance commissioner.
Candidate Vickie Schmidt is married, has two sons and two grandsons, has been a pharmacist for 40 years, and is a Kansas Senator representing Shawnee County and Wabaunsee county. “I know first hand what our rising health care costs have done to our families and our seniors.
Nathaniel McLaughlin said he came to Kansas in 1983…The Kansas State emblem caught his attention..a picture with a man with hands on the plow. His background is hard work, faith in God and respect for neighbor.
The moderator asked the candidates to tell what the position does, with the following responses:
Schmidt: The Insurance Commissioner enforces the regulations that insurance companies are required to abide by and should be an advocate for citizens. She has a track record of fighting for taxpayers, she stated. She said she has the support of Bob Dole.
McLaughlin: Regulate, advocate and educate is the mission statement of the insurance commissioner. McLaughlin has a business background with Marriott. He has a concern with the way Medicare is spent and said he would promote for private insurance.
Two candidates are in the Kansas Senate District 13 primary, Richard Hilderbrand and Bryan Hoffman.
Following is excerpts from their opening remarks at the forum:
Richard Hilderbrand has been the District 13 Senator for two years. There needs to be a fiscally accountable representative, and he believes he has been.
Bryan Hoffman said he was raised on a farm, is a carpenter, is a rancher with100 head of cattle and has never been in politics.
Question 1: Funding the educational system?
Hoffman: Adequately fund the education system but hold them accountable. We have been dismantled by the Brownback administration.
Hilderbrand: The biggest cuts were pre-Brownback. There was a 13.5- percent cut in k-12 education by the governor at the time. We have to make sure the funding is going into the classroom. We have to improve our economy.
Question 2: Anything that can be done to lower property taxes?
Hilderbrand: The legislature must stop passing unfunded mandates to schools, cities, and counties, which puts the burden farther down the road.
Hoffman: We have given away 2.5 billion dollars that the citizens… have paid in federal taxes. We can use that to fund these things and still lower our property taxes. Better-paying jobs are needed in Kansas.
Question 2: Are you in support of funding abortions?
Hilderbrand: Absolutely not.
Hildebrand: The right to vote shouldn’t be taken for granted. I do appreciate your vote. Look at previous voting records.
Hoffman: I will fight hard for Southeast Kansas, if I have a question about teachers, I’m going to call a teacher, etc.