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Sherow talks politics and Kansas roots

8/17/2014

By ELIZABETH GOLDEN

By ELIZABETH GOLDEN

egolden@dailynews.net

Jim Sherow said he believes in Kansas. He is passionate about issues facing residents -- so much so, he decided to take on Tim Huelskamp in the race for the Kansas First District in the House of Representatives.

Sherow, a democrat, spoke with the Ellis County Democrats on Saturday morning.

He won the August primary with 66 percent of the vote.

"Rep. Huelskamp is too divisive for Kansas," Sherow said. "He's too radical. He was taken off of the agriculture committee by his own party. What good are you for your district when you're not serving it?"

Sherow said agriculture is a big issue facing western Kansas, along with alternative energy. Kansas currently is not represented on the agriculture committee, even though it is one of the top 10 agricultural producing states in the country, based on statistics by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"I want to get on the agriculture committee," Sherow said. "I believe I have the credentials to do that. I also want to join a group called No Labels. Congressmen and women from both parties get together once a week to find common ground and solve problems."

Sherow was the city commissioner and mayor of Manhattan from 2007 to 2012, and dedicated much of his time to blurring party lines.

"As a result of the teamwork, we have a very prosperous community," he said. "Manhattan has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the entire state, and is one of the fastest growing cities. None of that happened by accident. It happened by working together across party lines."

Through his experience on the city commission, he realized the effect Congress had on the city.

"I realized how important it was to have the support of Congress," Sherow said. "If you have a congressman who can't get that job done for you, he or she should be replaced."

Sherow has taught history -- specifically Kansas history -- at Kansas State University for 22 years. He has written five books about the state.

"I'm a fourth generation Kansan," he said. "I have very deep roots in the state, so I want to see it prosper. I want to see the people living here wanting to stay here and becoming a part of it. We have big problems facing our state."

Sherow said he taught a class last semester with 32 students. He asked how many intend to remain in the state following graduation. Five students raised their hands.

"What's happening when the best and brightest in our educational system leave?" he said. "Something needs to change."