Why I am running for State Representative
As a candidate for State Representative of the 77th District, I’d like to take the opportunity to introduce myself – who I am, what I believe, and why I would like the honor of serving as your representative.
Who I am
I am the youngest of four children and was raised on a farm south of Augusta. I graduated from Augusta High School in 1989 and then went on to graduate with distinction from the University of Kansas (BSEd in biology and general science and later MSEd in Curriculum & Instruction). After completing college, my husband Joe and I moved to Hutchinson where I accepted my first teaching job for the Buhler School District and Joe became the General Manager of the brand new Carlos O’Kelly’s Mexican Café. Within two years, Joe was promoted to the corporate headquarters of Carlos O’Kelly’s – Sasnak Management in Wichita. I accepted a science teaching position with the Andover School District and we relocated to Augusta.
In 1998 our first daughter was born and I resigned from my teaching job to become a stay-at-home mom. Eventually, Joe and I had four children: Sydney (15), Sadie (13), Holt (10), and Halle (9).
Volunteering in Augusta, along with being a mother, became my passion. Two projects best define who I am – Project Play Park and Save Our State Street. Both projects were made possible with the help of steering teams and volunteers that dedicated themselves to the improvement of Augusta. Project Play Park raised over $134,000 in private funds and engaged 3000 volunteers that built a castle-like playground in seven days. Play Park Pointe is located next to our City Lake and after 12 years, remains a favorite place for kids and families to spend time.
A few years after Play Park Pointe, I led the Save Our State Street campaign (SOS). SOS raised over $200,000 in private funds for the revitalization of our historic downtown district. In addition to these volunteer activities, I have been active at the First Baptist Church with both children and youth as a Sunday school teacher and volunteer.
In 2007, I was elected as Augusta’s first woman mayor and re-elected in 2011. During my tenure, Augusta has completed a levee enhancement project, a lake spillway-dam project, made significant improvements in our parks and on our streets, and completed a downtown restoration project.
What I believe
I believe in low taxes, limited government, and free markets. I am concerned by growing government encroachment and spending. In Butler County, we work hard earning an honest wage and raising our families. We value the personal liberties provided to us by our Constitution. We embrace the second amendment and our Pro-life/pro-family values. We believe that more money in the hands of people, and not in the hands of government, is less wasteful, creates more jobs, and is the best way to drive economic and social progress.
Growing jobs, limiting the expansion of government, and holding taxes low are among the values I will promote and honor. With over half our State’s general fund dedicated to K-12 education, I believe it is imperative that our children be prepared for our changing global economy. Outcomes matter. Quality education matters.
Why would I like to be your Representative?
Serving my community is an integral part of my life. As Mayor, I’ve enjoyed learning the details that are necessary to run a full-service City from our water utility to the maintenance of our streets. I’ve enjoyed working with City Staff, employees, and our City Council to make sure that Augusta’s priorities are met and its assets are protected. I’ve enjoyed listening and talking with area people and businesses. I’ve enjoyed working together, as a community, to solve problems, plan for our future, and build a better City.
These principals of hard work, respect for the people, respect for our Constitution, and solution-oriented, transparent governing are the same principles I would bring to Topeka as the Representative of the 77th District.
It would be an honor to serve you and your needs.