The rising national debt and Medicaid expansion were among the topics highlighted by Amanda Adkins, the Overland Park resident and businesswoman running for the Kansas Third Congressional District seat, in a presentation to the Northwest Johnson County Republicans on Monday evening.
Adkins’ entry into the race in September 2019 set up a Republican primary, where Adkins will face former nonprofit executive Sara Hart Weir of Mission, who announced a few months prior that she would seek the seat, as well as former Roeland Park mayor Adrienne Foster, who announced her plans to run in October. The three are vying to challenge first-term incumbent Democrat Sharice Davids, who defeated Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder in 2018.
An executive with Cerner and former adviser to Sam Brownback, Adkins said her campaign will focus on growth opportunities, prosperity and reducing the national debt, among other issues.
“As a long-term Republican, I tend to vote consistent with philosophy, so my belief system as a conservative is definitely a driving force in terms of how I make decisions,” she said.
In her presentation, Adkins said she believes voters chose Davids in 2018 because the Republican Party did not engage enough with women.
“The GOP needs to do a better job of engaging women in a meaningful way: Professional women, mothers, and I absolutely think we can do it,” she said. “We need to be talking about issues that will inspire moms.”
Adkins shared her views on a number of items:
- She said she supports President Trump’s economic policies, including “regulatory rollback,” tax cuts and low unemployment rates. However, she wants to focus on policies that address workforce shortages and remove barriers blocking economic growth. “There are a lot of positives nationally; however, here in Kansas City, we’re still growing and we’re doing really great but our community when we compare ourselves to other mid-sized cities across the country, we’re not growing at nearly the same rate.”
- She supports significantly reducing or eliminating the national debt.
- She supports increased accountability in public programs. “I think that as taxpayers, you have a right to understand any given public program — how and where your dollars are being spent, and what value we are getting for every single dollar that is spent.”
- Adkins opposes Medicaid expansion and said she would rather find ways to make healthcare more affordable through care coordination.
- She also supports providing children and youth with more opportunities for success and workforce readiness, from early childhood to higher education.
- Finally, Adkins wants to push for “complete transparency” on federal spending that supports residents who are not legally U.S. citizens. She said the conversation involves addressing workforce issues. She supports increasing funding to build the border wall between the United States and Mexico.
New Kansas District 10 Senator says he’s opposed to Medicaid expansion
During the meeting, Mike Thompson, the former television meteorologist tapped to fill the remainder of Mary Pilcher-Cook’s term after her resignation, gave a few remarks about his positions, including his opposition to Medicaid expansion, support for a constitutional amendment meant to give the legislature final say on abortion access, and extending the pay-off period for state pension debt.
Among those in attendance at the meeting were Shawnee councilmembers Eric Jenkins, Mike Kemmling and Kurt Knappen.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct an omission. The primary race includes GOP candidates Amanda Adkins, Adrienne Foster and Sara Hart Weir. Foster was inadvertently left out of the original story. Her information and a link to the story we published about her announcement have been added.