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:

Kris Trimmer

As an American Government teacher, I always encouraged my students to pay attention to their elected officials, ask questions, do their own research and to participate in the process. Now that I am retired, it is time for me to run for office and provide a voice for those who may feel like they have not been heard in the past few years.

I graduated magna cum laude from Southwestern College in 1975 with a BA degree, with majors in Social Science and Speech Communication. I also earned my Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Wichita State University in 2009.

Over the course of my 28-year teaching career, I have played a leadership role in providing students with a variety of opportunities. At Winfield High School, I served as a member of the Building Leadership Team and organized our annual Staff Choice Awards assembly, to honor students who had impacted the school community in positive ways. I worked to establish our annual MLK celebration, ‘Cinema and Conversation’, which gave our students the chance to discuss Civil Rights issues with local community members. I organized senior trips to Topeka where students engaged with their State Senator, watched the House and Senate in action, and learned about the Civil Rights movement at the Brown v. BOE National Historical Site. I also sponsored student organizations, including Student Council and Spirit Squad. I was proud to co-author Winfield’s winning application for the Kansas Civic Engagement Award in 2020.

I have been a member of KNEA for over 28 years and served as an officer of the WNEA (Winfield-National Education Association) for several years. I have been an active part of the local Democratic Party. I served as an elder of the First Presbyterian Church, where I was also the Director of Christian Education for two years. I was a member of various school site-councils and was also an active Swim Club parent. Recently, I have become a member of PEO and the Winfield Public Library Board.

My husband, Ed, and I have lived in Winfield for almost 48 years. We have two grown daughters, two sons-in-law and four grandchildren.

Campaign website/Facebook/Social Media:

Facebook: Kris Trimmer Campaign

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

We should fight inflation by lowering the state sales tax on food to zero in January 2023. There is no good reason to wait. We should provide property tax relief through the local ad valorem tax reduction fund, money that should be used to lower our property taxes. Research on the budget surplus supports both ideas.

Share your thoughts on abortion rights and restrictions.

Kansans made their position on women’s reproductive rights very clear on August 2nd when they rejected a state constitutional amendment that would have allowed the Legislature to remove the right to an abortion. The people did not want to give them that power. Kansans recognized that a woman’s reproductive healthcare decisions should be between the woman and her doctor. I will vote to protect women’s reproductive healthcare, and to defend the majority vote of the people.

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

I am in favor of Medicaid expansion. According to the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas, almost 80% of Kansans support Medicaid expansion. Despite this overwhelming support, Kansas is one of twelve states that has yet to expand Medicaid. Kansans are paying federal taxes to fund the expansion of Medicaid in other states but not their own. Kansas has already lost out on an estimated $5.5 billion in federal funds. (2014-2022) With the federal government paying 90% of the cost, it would cost the state about $50 million a year. This cost would be offset by the impact of a billion dollars of federal money being injected into the Kansas economy. During the last legislative session, the Republican leadership refused to allow a vote on Medicaid expansion. They should at least allow a vote and if they did, I would vote to expand Medicaid.

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

Members of the Special Committee on Medical Marijuana, which a bicameral legislative panel formed in June, recently met to craft a reform bill for the upcoming 2023 session. I am in favor of legalizing medical marijuana and if I am elected, I would look forward to hearing the bill that will be proposed by this committee. I think the focus will be on medical marijuana with recreational marijuana not even being discussed.

Share your thoughts about transgender athletes in sports.

KSHSAA has had a policy in place for over 10 years. There are guidelines for the LOCAL school boards to use in making decisions about transgender girls in sports. This covers K-12. I am not aware that this has been a problem for any school district in Kansas.

The NCAA has jurisdiction over transgender girls in sports at the college level. There are already guidelines in place to determine eligibility for transgender girls in sports, which would apply nationwide.

If Kansas passes the ban on transgender participation, it does not change anything for college sports. In the TV ad, the young woman is from Kentucky. If she were still swimming, a Kansas ban would not impact her in anyway.

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

I believe Kansas elections are secure and accurate. I am especially proud of our election officials in Sumner and Cowley County. I would want election legislation to encourage citizens to vote, not discourage them from voting.

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

Currently, approximately 90,000 don’t have broadband internet in rural areas. We need to help the small companies who are willing to provide this service.

Corporate monopolies are slowly erasing our rural communities. If family farms and ranches can’t stay in operation, their loss will impact everyone in that rural area. Large meat packing companies and processing firms control most of the market for beef, poultry and pork. Meat and poultry prices now are the single largest contributor to the rising cost of food people consume at home. Squeezed by the dictates of massive corporations, farmers today have increasingly little control over their own businesses. The federal government has pledged $1billion to expand independent processing capacity. The state SHOULD STOP state-level tax breaks for factory farms.

Medicaid expansion is the single biggest thing that Kansas can do to support its rural health infrastructure (hospitals).

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

In a Democracy, everyone should have access to a quality education. The Kansas Legislature must continue to fully fund our public schools. It should keep the base state aid per pupil formula and the inflation factor for future funding in place, as prescribed by the Kansas Supreme Court. I oppose vouchers and tax credits for corporation-funded scholarships given to private K-12 schools. Some areas in which more spending should be considered: cost of Special Education, higher salaries for teachers, universal pre-school, and vocational education.

We should support our teachers instead of trying to micromanage them. This is important as Kansas finds itself facing a shortage of qualified teachers that is more severe than anything we’ve seen before.

After hearing about what has been happening with Emporia State University, it appears there is a need for more transparency when choosing the head of a college. I would be interested in looking into the whole process, including some of the decisions that have been made about curriculum and staff.

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

When legislation is debated and decisions are made in Topeka, the following should always be considered: Will is solve a problem that is happening in Kansas? Is it based on the truth? What are the facts? Are the sources of information valid and unbiased? Is it fair to all concerned? Have all sides been heard, equally? Who will be affected? Will it be beneficial to all who will be impacted? (This is loosely based on Rotary’s “The Four Way Test”.)

If these questions are adhered to, the resulting legislation should promote social and racial justice.