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SPOTLIGHT
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Dispelling the myth of the bogeyman

Published on -10/11/2012, 10:26 AM

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While thawing out from a very chilly Fort Hays State University Homecoming parade on Saturday, I thought I was going to faint.

I actually found myself in agreement with something Bob Hooper wrote in these pages! After we put the defibrillator away, I started thinking about his column from last Friday.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, what we agree on is pretty basic: Both of us know the candidates in the 110th District house race pretty well. That's about as far as it goes.

I know both of the candidates well. I know, apparently unlike our pal Bob, that both of them have names.

Phil Martin is a good man who I've known as an FHSU colleague and a man due great respect. His opponent, in case you are just coming back from Zolfo Springs (not Zoflo, Bob, trust the Floridian here), is Travis Couture-Lovelady.

Like Phil, I know Travis from his days at FHSU -- he was one of my students. And as good a man as Phil is, so is Travis.

Travis Couture-Lovelady (I'll say his name a few times just to prove to Bob that if you say it three times, Beeltejuice doesn't appear in your basement) was a stellar student and wise beyond his years. His life might have looked different had he not left law school to return to Palco to help his grandparents run the Couture family farm.

Travis traded in the potential for a very lucrative career to serve his family. That should be all you need to know about the character of the man. Despite his youth, he's put together an impressive resume with plenty of learning behind it.

For the last two years, he has been the communications director for Kansas Treasurer Ron Estes. If you had unclaimed property, Travis probably got it for you.

What I do find odd is our pal Bob's criticism that Travis Couture-Lovelady appears to be unqualified for the job because he's raised money from enthusiastic supporters and had many of those supporters agree to clutter their yards with his signs. Both candidates have been aggressive in going door-to-door throughout their district, so you can find them yourself and I think both will impress you.

I moderated a Smoky Hills Public Television debate between the two of them, finding both smart, likable, common-sense types. So, again, Hooper and I must walk down different paths -- I don't endorse in partisan races, so I won't tell you who to vote for.

I just wanted to prove that saying Travis' name wouldn't make Beetlejuice appear, and so far so good.

Chapman Rackaway is an associate professor of political science at Fort Hays State University.

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