19th House District: Taxes are issue in GOP primary

07/10/2014 12:17 PM

07/12/2014 10:13 AM

Tax cuts are a major issue in the 19th District.

Incumbent Stephanie Clayton and Jennifer Flood are running for a seat in the Kansas House for District 19, which serves parts of Prairie Village, Overland Park and Leawood.

The winner of the Aug. 5 Republican primary will face Democrat Patricia Stratton of Prairie Village in the Nov. 4 general election.

Clayton has represented the district since 2013. A Johnson County native, Clayton has lived in Overland Park since graduating from Emporia State University in 2005.

In her term as representative she voted against repealing renewable energy standards because, she said, she sees the potential for job creation through renewable energy.

Gov. Sam Brownback’s income tax cuts, which the Kansas Legislature passed in 2012, have destabilized the economy, Clayton said, but a full repeal could worsen the situation. Clayton proposes pausing the tax cut schedule so the Legislature could study the cut’s impact on the economy. Clayton said she’s heard from local business owners who are worried the Kansas economy is in trouble.

“With the economy, especially local economy, perception is reality,” she said. “Businesses want a stable economy to operate in.”

She said she has not heard from a business yet that was able to create jobs because of the current tax model. A solid economic model is Johnson County, Clayton said. Johnson County has a high standard of living and good schools, which encourage businesses to move to the area, she said.

For working Kansans, Clayton said she would support expansion of Medicaid and access to health care. One constituent, who was frustrated with workplace insurance, said she might be better off on welfare so she could receive health care, Clayton said.

“I want policies that keep Kansans working,” Clayton said.

Flood, originally from McPherson, is president of IntegriShield, a consulting and software company located in downtown Kansas City. Prior to that, she worked in private law firms in Topeka.

On taxes, Flood said it is a Republican principle to support tax cuts, and she does not support repealing the current income tax cuts. The tax breaks put more money into the hands of taxpayers, she said. As long as spending cuts are made at the same rate as tax cuts, she said, the budget should balance itself out.

“As long as the core functions of government are receiving the proper funding such as education, transportation, and others, I will not vote for higher taxes,” she wrote in an email.

Flood would not say whether she supports Medicaid expansion, but she did say she would like to explore the situation and look for solutions for vulnerable citizens. She said she continues to have concerns about the Affordable Care Act.

“Federally mandated healthcare has proven to be a poor answer for the people,” she wrote.

Flood said she did not yet have an opinion on repealing the state’s renewable energy standards. In a questionnaire, she wrote, “Johnson County taxpayers already bear a heavy burden as the financial fuel of the state.”

Stephanie Clayton

Age: 37

Education: Bachelor’s in history, Emporia State University, 2005

Occupation: Social media consultant

Elected experience: Kansas House, 2013-present

Website: clayton4kansas.com

Jennifer Flood

Age: 35

Education: Bachelor’s in behavioral science, McPherson College, 2001; Juris Doctor, Washburn University School of Law, 2004

Occupation: President, IntegriShield

Elected experience: None

Website: jenniferflood.com

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