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Schmidt serves admirably

Published on -8/14/2012, 10:21 AM

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Schmidt serves admirably

Although I have moved to Shawnee, I continue to follow Hays-area news. Of concern is a recent article which seemed to celebrate the conclusions of KSU professor Joe Aistrup regarding the victories of the extreme right across the state, and also casting a prognosis for the western Kansas area come the fall elections.

Aistrup and possibly the HDN seem to think we must necessarily have a Republican senator in the state Senate. There is a reason why a particular Democrat was successfully elected to succeed Sen. Janis Lee and represent the area surrounding Hays. Sen. Allen Schmidt was simply the better choice and has met, if not exceeded, the standard set by Lee. I believe the HDN should do more to support its local candidate.

Aistrup seems to think that because the extreme right was able to act with unprecedented intensity in the primary in other parts of the state -- defeating moderates who more likely reflect the views of the Republicans who stayed home -- that western Kansans then would choose Ralph Ostmeyer over Schmidt ... sort of a "spirit of the times" thing I guess. He states this despite the remarkably low statewide turn-out for that same primary.

I think it's time for those who actually are affected by state senators to teach Aistrup that trends in other parts of Kansas do not necessarily apply around Hays. It's not so "knee-jerk" a thing. The Hays area is the largest voting bloc in our western area and often votes Democratic.

We have been well served by Allen Schmidt and are entitled to keep him. He has extensive farm business and administrative experience and when you listen to him discuss area and state issues, as I have, you know that he does his homework.

He understands and can discuss the details that are involved, and is focused on what is good for western Kansans. Nor is he owned by some majority overseers to whom he must kowtow. His wisdom and skills honor his local high school, Thomas More Prep-Marian; his alma maters, the University of Kansas and Fort Hays State University; and the military in which he served as an officer.

I would encourage the HDN to interview both state senate candidates extensively and do so on the issues that specifically affect western Kansas. Then, area folks can make an informed opinion of their own. In my view, there is no comparison between Schmidt and his opponent when it comes to detailed awareness of state and western Kansas issues.

I am hoping there will be televised debates as well. Not only does Schmidt more directly address issues, but his articulation skills are better suited to represent area concerns on the Senate floor. Debates would clarify this well. So let us hear more on and from Allen Schmidt.

Jean Binder

Shawnee

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