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 Kirsten Lee Barger)

Virtual Office Assistant, Freelance Writer, Freelance Editor. Long-term animal rights advocate: as a volunteer and as paid staff. Animal shelter work, animal rescue, animal advocacy, wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. An advocate for social justice causes and women’s rights issues. I have a BA in Writing and Literature, with a minor in art and guerilla theatre, and a MA in History (public history, oral history, museums, historic sites, historic preservation, maritime history). I have no military service or military background. My family has genealogical ties to the area (farmers–and the Pankeys, as in Pankey Oil & Gas), and my mother was in Pratt sixty years ago as Miss Kansas City. Both my parents went to KU.

Campaign website/Facebook/Social Media:

No campaign link available.
LinkedIn: Kirsten Lee Barger

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

Raise the minimum wage, among other initiatives. Universal basic income and health care for all.

Share your thoughts on abortion rights and restrictions.

I’m pro-choice, and pro-women’s rights, without a doubt. I’m a dedicated feminist.

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

Yes, absolutely! Because I know what it’s like to have it (I moved here from New Mexico) and then come here and not be able to have the same level of care and access to health care. I, personally, know the stress and anxiety that comes from the insecurity caused by not having access to adequate and comprehensive health care.

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

I strongly support both initiatives.

Share your thoughts about transgender athletes in sports.

They should be freely allowed to compete, without restrictions, and there should be stronger protections in place for them, and for all LGBTQIA+ Kansans.

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

Increase options around vote-by-mail and any other like initiatives to make it easier for Kansans across the state to vote.

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

I’m willing to learn more about the issues farmers and ranchers face here.

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

A significant increase in pay for teachers and other educational staff. Stronger support systems and benefits packages, for example, for Kansas’s teachers. Initiative packages to increase the number of teachers for our schools. (I’m a former substitute teacher.) Smaller class sizes. Ensure that students have access to IEP and other such programs (expand them?). Waive tuition for community colleges/colleges for residents of Kansas. Ensure that public education remains accessible and equal for all students.

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

I am a dedicated advocate for social and racial justice. (And the environment!)