Lenexa and Olathe will have new representation in the 30th House District.
Randy Powell and Ron Worley are facing off in the Aug. 5 primary to represent District 30, which includes parts of Lenexa and Olathe.
The winner will face Democrat Liz Dickinson of Lenexa in the Nov. 4 general election.
The district’s current representative, Lance Kinzer, is not seeking re-election.
Worley represented the 30th District from 2007-2013. He lost to Kinzer in 2012 after the two were placed in the same district when election boundaries were redrawn.
Kinzer has endorsed Powell.
Worley, a Lenexa resident for 23 years and a Vietnam veteran, said he’s running again because he’s disappointed in the current representation and thinks a more moderate approach is needed.
“I offer myself as a person that will look for win-win situations and find compromises that will help Kansas,” he said.
In 2012 Worley opposed Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax cuts because, he said, the cuts did not ensure job growth in the state. The legislation provided tax cuts, but no mandates to create jobs, he said. Worley would support modifications that create exemptions for businesses that have proven they create jobs. The cuts have jeopardized the state budget, he said, because the state has lost revenue and not added jobs to the economy.
“The budget situation is dire,” he said.
Worley said he’s afraid if revenue doesn’t pick up the state will have to make funding cuts to programs, but he said he wouldn’t vote for any cuts to public education. He said he believes public education should receive a boost in funding as soon as the state can afford it because class sizes are growing, but teachers’ salaries remain low. Worley also supports charter schools as long as there is no extra charge and the level of education is the same as public schools.
“Our children or grandchildren have only one chance to learn,” he said.
He would also expand Medicaid because he said it would improve healthcare for Kansans, especially in rural areas.
Worley, who is a long-time hunter and appreciates the recreational use of firearms, said he does not support the previous Kansas Legislature’s decision to prohibit cities from banning open carry. He said he’s a strong believer in Home Rule authority, and allowing cities to govern themselves.
“As much as possible we need to let local jurisdictions make decisions that fit their situation,” he said.
Powell, an Olathe resident since 2000, said he’s not talking to the press so he can focus on door-to-door campaigning. According to his website, Powell is a financial adviser for Edward Jones and is involved in several Christian nonprofits. On the “Issues” (http://randy-powell.com/issues/) page of his website, Powell lists four points: taxes, education, spending and tradition.
On his website, he writes that he supports keeping taxes low so businesses and families can invest in their own future.
Powell supports local control of education, but wants to direct more money to the classroom. He writes that the best way to improve education is hiring and maintaining good teachers.
He also wants to cut spending and look for more efficient ways to govern. Primarily he wants to “fight federal government mandates such as Obamacare that can cost our state millions.”
Powell will also preserve tradition. According his website that means banning same-sex marriage, promoting pro-life and championing gun rights.