Your District 21 primary primer: Where Dorothy Hughes and Neil Melton stand on the issues

The mailers flooding District 21 mailboxes have painted conflicting pictures of candidates Dorothy Hughes and Neil Melton.
The mailers flooding District 21 mailboxes have painted conflicting pictures of candidates Dorothy Hughes and Neil Melton.

The August 2 primaries are just a day away, and if the late barrage of postcards piling up in your mailbox has left you a bit confused about where House District 21 Republican candidates Dorothy Hughes and Neil Melton stand, you’re not alone. Here’s what the candidates have said about their positions on the issues, as well as some other background information that should help Republican voters make up their minds before heading to the polls tomorrow. (The winner of tomorrow’s contest will face Democrat Jerry Stogsdill in the general election in November.)

Where do the candidates stand on education?
KCUR’s Sam Zeff has a great piece digging into the claims made on the various postcards about the candidates’ positions on education.

You can also check out their responses to our questionnaire item on school funding here. Hughes said she does not believe our schools are adequately funded. Melton said education was a top priority for him, but noted that per pupil spending in the state is currently above $13,000.

Who is more moderate? Who is more conservative?
Hughes has gotten the endorsement of the moderate MainStream Coalition. Melton was a co-founder of the Northeast Johnson County Conservatives and has gotten that group’s endorsement. Hughes said she voted for Paul Davis in the 2014 gubernatorial race. Melton refused to say who he voted for.

Where do the candidates stand on abortion?
Melton has received the endorsement of Kansans for Life, and says he’s been pro-life for as long as he can remember. Hughes said she has concerns about the government being involved in the abortion issue, and said that she does not believe focusing on “wedge social issues” is the way to move Kansas forward right now.

Where do the candidates stand on Kansas’s tax policy?
Hughes said she believes the state must roll back the 2012 tax cuts championed by Gov. Sam Brownback. Melton said he doesn’t believe in rolling the tax cuts back, but that he would support closing the loophole that exempts more than 300,000 business owners from paying income taxes. See their detailed responses here.

Want more details on the candidates’ positions?
Check out our coverage of their Overland Park Chamber of Commerce forum, or listen to the candidates on KCUR with Sam Zeff here.

Who has funded the candidates?
You can view both candidates’ finance reports here. Hughes has outraised Melton $25,270 to $7,119. Democrat Jerry Stogsdill, who doesn’t face a primary opponent, raised $7,985 in the same period.