Craig Bowser – Republican for Kansas Senate, District 22

Candidates

Biographical/Personal Information:

Craig Bowser was raised on a ranch in a small Kansas community. His mother, a single mom of four, raised her family while also earning her master’s degree in education. Dedicated to giving back, she then went on to help individuals in her community achieve their GED or high school equivalent. Her sacrifices and passion for public service taught Craig the value of education and perseverance. Values he would keep with him throughout adulthood.

After graduating from Holton high school, Craig earned a bachelor’s degree from Emporia State University and an MBA from Washburn University in Topeka, KS.

Craig joined the U.S. Army Reserves where he served for 24 years. After completing multiple combat tours in Iraq, Craig used his G.I. Bill to earn his doctorate in strategic security from Henley Putnam School of Strategic Security. During his time in the military, Craig served as a civil affairs officer, working with political leaders and citizen groups where he was instrumental in establishing freedom and democracy. Craig helped to facilitate the first free elections in Iraq in 2005. He was awarded the prestigious Meritorious Honor Award from the U.S. Department of State during one of his combat tours.

In 2018, Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer appointed Dr Bowser to the statewide Commission on Emergency Planning and Response. In 2019 Dr Bowser completed the Kansas Republican leadership training series and in January 2020 he announced his intention to run for Kansas Senate District #22 which includes Riley and Clay counties as well as Ft Riley.

Craig Bowser has not only served as a leader in the Army but has also held leadership positions in a variety of companies and industries such as transportation, utilities, nuclear, and agriculture. Today, Craig Bowser is the Chief Executive Officer for a Manhattan-based 501(c)3 organization that helps transitioning military veterans and others enter the agriculture workforce. Craig and his wife Erin live in Manhattan and maintain their 3rd generation farm in Holton.

Campaign website/Facebook/Social Media:

CraigBowser.com

Do you think KanCare should be expanded? Why or why not?

Rather than expanding the broken KanCare system, I will focus on meaningful health care reforms that will increase access and decrease costs for all Kansans. There are already a limited number of providers who accept Medicaid, adding more able-bodied working-age adults to the Medicaid roles will only make it harder for those who already rely on it. Additionally, the cost of the program will put further strain on a state budget that is already feeling the effects of the pandemic.

What is your stance on the legalization of medical marijuana?

I believe medical marijuana is an issue that should be decided by the voters in Kansas, not the state legislature.

Do you support any changes to abortion laws in Kansas? If so, what changes?

I believe we must act to reign in radical judges who took away the power from Kansas voters and created a nearly unlimited “right to abortion” in our State Constitution. I will support a constitutional amendment that allows Kansans to place lifesaving limits on abortion by amending the State Constitution.

What are the issues you would address for farmers and ranchers?

The pandemic has created tough times for everyone but especially our farmers and ranchers.  Low commodity prices and slowed access to markets have hindered the ability of Kansas farmers and ranchers to make a living.  For this reason I support legislation that provides resources to Kansas farmers and ranchers.  As your next state senator I will advocate for open markets and increased commodity prices.  I also support efforts to implement broadband in rural Kansas so our farmers and ranchers have access to high speed internet. I am grateful to have the endorsement of the Kansas Farm Bureau.

What are the key education issues in Kansas for K-12? For universities?

Supporting public education is vitally important to helping Kansas grow. We need to make sure education is preparing our students for jobs in the real world. Properly funding K-State and higher education has also never been more important. During the time my opponent has been in office we’ve seen K-State lose funding, forcing them to make drastic cuts. This needs to end.

Are you satisfied with DCF? With the foster care system?

The legislature has made positive strides in recent years attempting to reform the foster care system, however there is still more work to be done. These children are our most vulnerable Kansans and we must do everything possible to give them the resources and stability they need.

What is your response to the Black Lives Matter movement?

As someone who served in the military, I served with and respected people of all races and ethnicities. In order for us to move forward as a country, we must focus on creating opportunity for all Kansan. That begins with a strong education and a strong economy that offers jobs and a future to all our citizens.

What do you think needs to be done to promote social and racial justice?

Bringing positive change to Kansas begins by changing who we elect. We can’t elect the same people over and over again, expecting different results. I’ll fight to defend the values that make this nation and our state great. The belief that all people are created equal by God spurs me onward to fight for policies that will improve the lives of all Kansans.

Are you in favor of police reform? If so, what should it look like?

Supporting our law enforcement officers begins with providing them the resources and training they need to be successful. I oppose any efforts from radicals to “defund the police.” In recent weeks, we’ve seen increased violence towards our men and women in uniform. This must end.

Did you or do you support business shutdowns to control the spread of the coronavirus?

I don’t believe it’s the state government’s place to tell businesses whether or not they can be open. We need leaders who are focused on giving people and businesses the information, tools and resources to be safe without imposing more mandates that would further hurt our economy. Overall, we have to trust Kansans to make the right choices and I believe each family should be able to determine what precautions are safe and adequate for themselves.

Would you support another statewide shutdown if coronavirus cases continued to rise? If so, what are the factors that would lead you to that decision?

I do not support state government dictating whether or not businesses can be open. Kansans are wise and can determine what level of safety and precaution is right for them.

What do you think should be done to help the Kansas economy recover?

Our families and businesses are struggling in the wake of the pandemic. It’s vitally important that we are focused on getting businesses open and giving them the resources, they need to begin growing and creating jobs again. I’ve been honored to serve as the CEO for an organization focused on giving veterans the training they need to work in agriculture; That experience has taught me that in order for our economy to begin growing again, we must get government out of the way and offer relief to our citizens and businesses.

Would you cut money for social services if it means lower taxes? Would you favor higher taxes for more social services?

Career politicians have failed us by telling us the only options are higher taxes or cutting social services. We need leaders who will work to find solutions by making government programs more efficient, not simply rising taxes or cutting valuable services.

What should Kansas do to balance its budget? Will you support budget cuts for schools?

Our state budget has ballooned by 49% over the last 10-years. We must end the reckless out of control spending in order to ensure we can properly fund key things like education. Education is the backbone of our communities and I believe we must do everything possible to ensure funding for both K-12 and higher education.

The number one priority for our state is economic recovery and job creation. As a business leader I have the experience to do that. I know how to set the conditions for economic growth and job creation.

Our families and businesses are struggling in the wake of the pandemic. It’s vitally important that we are focused on getting businesses open and giving them the resources, they need to begin growing and creating jobs again. I’ve been honored to serve as the CEO for an organization focused on giving veterans the training they need to work in agriculture; That experience has taught me that in order for our economy to begin growing again, we must get government out of the way and offer relief to our citizens and businesses.

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