Candidates for state representative in NEJC agree on many issues – with some notable exceptions


Eight candidates running for seats in the Kansas House of Representatives were in widespread agreement Saturday morning on a number of the issues facing the state – with some notable exceptions.

One of those was when Libertarian candidate John Taube in the 19th District said he agreed with Kansas gun laws and individuals should have the right to defend themselves at anytime. “Good people are not the ones who go around shooting people,” Taube said. He did, though, encourage gun owners to take classes.

His opponent in the 19th District, incumbent Stephanie Clayton, said she had seen gun laws passed that make people feel unsafe. In an active shooter situation, she said, police cannot tell who the good guys are. Democrat Elizabeth Meitl did not attend the forum.

Both Jerry Stogsdill and Dorothy Hughes, candidates for District 21, opposed campus carry and called for major changes in gun laws. Stogsdill said he was a former Naval weapons officer and a gun owner and called for limitations on the types of guns people can buy. Hughes said concealed carry without a permit is “outrageous.”

While both incumbent Democrat Jarrod Ousley and his Republican opponent Rob Johnson said they opposed the concealed carry law, Johnson said he would not support rolling back campus carry. Rather he advocated for more local control for campuses to make decisions. Ousley said it was “absurd” for someone to be able to walk into a restaurant with a gun.

Both incumbent Melissa Rooker and Democrat challenger Matt McCann running in the 25th District opposed the gun laws. Rooker had voted against the gun packages. “We live in a civilized society. Common sense should prevail,” she said.

“I don’t want to live in the old west,” McCann said, calling for “Rambo guns” to be “taken off the shelf.”

All of the candidates opposed an amendment to change how Kansas Supreme Court justices are named. Taube, though, qualified that he didn’t support a change “right now.” He said the courts can’t keep coming back on school funding.

All of the candidates were critical of the current Kansas tax system and advocated a tax overhaul. Taube, though, said he favored a “fair tax” system based on consumption, but later called the sales tax on food “ridiculous.”

Clayton, along with the other candidates, wanted to eliminate the food sales tax and she also called for removing sales tax on “dignity” products.

None of the candidates supported giving tax dollars to private schools. However, Johnson said he would give an option for families to get a tax exemption for what they pay to private schools and Taube said parents “have to have options” that it cannot be just public or none.