WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — KSN News sent a questionnaire to each candidate facing a challenger in the November general election. We have not made any edits to the candidate’s answers.


Biographical Information:

(Courtesy HernandezForKansas.com)

Bob Hernandez has lived in Wichita since 1979, but his family came to Kansas in 1966 to work in the sugar beet fields of SW Kansas. He and his wife Karen have been happily married for 46 years and they have 2 daughters and four grandsons together. He has been married ONLY one time.

Bob graduated from Garden City High School in 1971 and he enlisted in the US Army in 1972 and served active duty in Germany and Operation Iraqi Freedom (2008-2009). He is now retired from the Kansas Army National Guard and is a lifetime member of the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars).

Bob received a business degree from Wichita State University and he has owned and operated several businesses in Wichita. He currently owns and operates a commercial cleaning business. When elected, Bob will focus on working for all Kansas families and small businesses – not a partisan agenda.

Bob Hernandez decided to run for political office because he is very concerned about the undermining of American democracy, and the attack on personal freedoms and constitutional rights. Bob left the Republican Party and became a registered Democrat in June of 2022 because he wants to be a Congressman who will stay away from destructive partisan politics and he will defend our democracy, and not collude to destroy it.

Campaign website/Facebook/Social Media:

HernandezForKansas.com

What are the top three things you think deserve your immediate attention in Washington, and what action would you take on them, including how you’d compromise with members of the other party?

Addressing Inflation – Elected officials need to address the problem immediately by working together instead of pointing fingers.

Unifying the Country – Partisan politics has become so divisive and counterproductive that problems fester and worsen instead of making the situation better.

Addressing the Labor Shortage Crisis – Congress must take action to resolve the crushing labor shortage crisis we are currently experiencing. A well-thought immigration reform that would include properly regulated temporary work visas would undoubtedly help in eliminating the labor crisis.

What should be done to fight inflation and fix the country’s economy?

I fully support Congress in the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. This bill is designed to lower prescription drug costs, health care costs, and energy costs. It’ll lower the deficit and ask the ultra-wealthy and corporations to pay their fair share. And no one making under $400,000 per year will pay a penny more in taxes.

Share your thoughts on abortion rights and restrictions.

Unfortunately, the abortion issue has developed into a debate dominated by extreme positions on both sides. I believe a woman seeks to have an abortion for various reasons and motivations, such as, economic hardship, partner difficulties, medical problems and unreadiness for parenting, to name a few. The decision to have an abortion should rest solely on the woman.

What needs to be done about health care?

Insurance companies, Big Pharma, and the medical industry have saddled the average American with incredibly burdensome healthcare coverage or none at all. I would promote a national healthcare system that would provide stronger buying power and could negotiate lower prices for drugs and medical equipment as well as curb the astronomically high administrative salaries Moreover, this pivot towards a national system unburdens thousands of companies that are saddled with onerous health insurance payments for their employees.

Do you think we need immigration reform, and what changes would you support?

Yes, and I would begin by addressing the labor shortage through an expeditious and effective temporary work visa program that would utilize newly-arrived immigrants or those seeking entry in the US by having them work to achieve legal residency or naturalization.

What are your thoughts on election integrity in Kansas? Across the United States? Would you change the election process, and how?

I believe we have election integrity in Kansas and the US. Only those who have bought into a disgruntled former president’s ridiculous claims of a “stolen election” or adhere to baseless QAnon conspiracy theories would believe that the American electoral process is corrupt. With the current and unprecedented scrutiny that our election system is under I would still push “For the People Act,” a transformational bill designed to ensure voting rights, end partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts, strengthen ethics laws, and place limits on campaign financing.

Where do you stand on LGBTQ issues and rights?

Quite simply, people have the right to love who they want to love and get married regardless of their sexual orientation without being discriminated against in society or in the workplace.

Share your stance on gun control/Second Amendment rights.

I believe in the 2nd Amendment, but the only time I felt a need to arm myself with an M-16 was when I was in Iraq defending myself against Al-Qaeda. I have a “concealed carry license” issued by the state of Kansas whereby I submitted to a background check, took an 8-hour training class, paid a fee, and my information and fingerprints are now on file with local sheriff’s office. Because the NRA-controlled GOP will allow psychologically unstable 18-year-old kids to buy an AR-15 style rifle WITHOUT a background check or training, here in America we have incidents like Uvalde, Sandy Hook, Parkland and Columbine where innocent children are slaughtered everyday and NO ONE seems to care.

What are your thoughts on climate change? What should Congress do about it, if anything?

Climate change is real and we should be focusing on it non-stop. The Inflation Reduction Act includes the most aggressive action on tackling the climate crisis in American history, and elected officials should support this legislative measure. Drought currently covers 3/4 of Kansas. And roughly one-third of the state is in extreme or exceptional drought — the highest levels on the U.S. Drought Monitor scale, and when the Ogallala Aquifer dries up, the western part of Kansas will become desert-like.