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 Garth Strand)

B.S. from K-State Business Management; B.S. from K-State Secondary Education with coaching certificate
37 year career with Hutchinson, now Heartland Credit Union, 29 years as CEO
Chairman of the Kansas Credit Union Association 5 years
Appointed by the Governor to the Kansas Credit Union Council serving 3 years as Chair
Credit Union National Association Cooperative Alliances Committee
Active in my community and church serving on numerous Boards
Married with 3 grown children

Campaign website/Facebook/Social Media:

Facebook: Go With Garth

What do you think should be done to help Kansans dealing with high costs?

Immediate elimination of the full State sales tax on food. The State is flush with money and there are numerous options to reduce the tax burden: elimination of sales tax on hygiene products; Immediate funding of the property tax relief fund as required by statue but not funded for the last 20 years; increases to limits on the Kansas Homestead Property Tax Relief program.

Share your thoughts on abortion rights and restrictions.

Kansas voters by a large margin provided the answer to this question in August. The Legislature should respect that.

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

Yes, it should be done immediately. It gives access to health care to thousands of Kansans; helps local hospitals recover uncompensated care (some $5 million in Hutchinson alone); helps small business that find it difficult to offer health insurance to employees; The Kansas Legislature has left BILLIONS of dollars on the table.

What is your stance on the legalization of medical marijuana? Recreational marijuana?

Medical use should be approved immediately. Recreational use needs to be approaced a little more cautiously but we need to move in that direction as I don’t see it much differently than alcohol, gambling, cigarettes, perscription drugs–all of which we seem to be ok with.

Share your thoughts about transgender athletes in sports.

KSHSSA and NCAA both have policies in place that seem reasonable. The topic has become a fear-based motivator used for political purposes. We have a REAL problem with fentanyl killing our young people…the legislature chose to ignore that this last session.

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

There is no evidence, despite audit after audit, that there is a problem.  Again, it seems to be a fear-based motivator used for political purposes.  We should be looking for ways to safely modernize voting to encourage as much participation as possible…which is how a democracy functions best.  Billions and billions, if not trillions of dollars are moved around the globe everyday, in highly controlled ways.  A secure, electronic voting system could operate the same way.

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

Some areas of Kansas are nearly out of water due to lack of action. We’re behind and it will take a concerted effort to catch up but….the legislature failed again last year to address the problem.

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

The Constitution required adequately and equitably funded public education. Recently we’ve turned that around to a better direction however, the Legislature needs to view education of our youth has the best investment we have and stop considering it an expense to minimize. Universities, community colleges and vocational schools need to coordinate in order to better prepare students and reduce overall costs. Looks like to be the recent Legislative Leadership has been part of creating a looming crises in public education by promoting programs like the Parents Bill of Rights. I have had three children complete 12 years of public education and I NEVER felt I didn’t have rights and that local school personnel and school boards worked to provide open communication.

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

Elected leaders need to help establish a culture of civil, open and non-judgemental behavior and perform more as servant leaders as opposed to rule-makers.