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


Biographical Information:

I am a fourth-generation Kansan, 3rd generation United Methodist minister and former County Commissioner and Mayor of Kansas City, Kansas. I am also a father of four, ranging in age from 16 – 23. I attended Southern Methodist University for my undergraduate studies, received my Master of Divinity from Ilif School of Theology, and my Doctorate of Divinity from St. Paul School of Theology. After seminary, I served two churches in rural Kansas and then for 19 years was the senior pastor at Trinity UMC in Kansas City, Kansas. In 2018, I co-founded Mainstream UMC, a global campaign to advocate for the ordination and marriage of the LGBTQ+ community within the church. I served 6 years on the Commission of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, KS and 4 years as Mayor.

Campaign website/Facebook/Social Media:

HollandForKansas.com
Facebook: Holland for Kansas
Twitter: Holland4Kansas

What are the top 3 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?

The Supreme Court has announced that they have agreed to hear Moore v. Harper, which will determine if state courts should be able to overturn congressional voting maps drawn by the state legislatures, no matter how egregious the gerrymandering. Additionally, the Court has agreed to hear Merrill v. Milligan, which challenges the validity of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

These two cases can fundamentally alter our modern understanding of democracy. The Constitution provides the ability for Congress to enact new legislation which would block the Court from pursuing their new “independent state legislature” theory. The protection and expansion of federal voting rights is my top priority and I will work with any Senator who shares my belief that our democracy hangs in the balance and must be protected.

I will vote to codify Roe v. Wade, to give medical decision-making to women and their families. Finally, we need a full-employment economy, where workers have jobs that pay enough to raise a family and live in dignity with a sense of purpose.

Share your thoughts about the current Supreme Court. Do you believe it should be expanded?        

The Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States was commissioned to examine topics which included the beginning of the reform debate; the Court’s role in the Constitutional system; the length of service and turnover of justices on the Court; the membership and size of the Court; and the Court’s case selection, rules, and practices. The final report, which was submitted by the commission, identifies “considerable, bipartisan support” for implementing non-renewable 18-year term limits for the justices. Supporters argue that term limits would make the court better represent election outcomes and make membership more predictable.

Supporters of expanding the size of the court to thirteen justices argue that expansion is necessary to address “serious violations of norms governing the confirmation process and troubling developments in the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence that they see as undermining the democratic system.”

As Senator, I will review in detail the recommendations from the Commission, input from legal and constitutional policy experts, and feedback from Kansas voters to determine how to best proceed.

What should be done to fight inflation?      

Over the last twelve months the cost of living has increased 8%, impacting the ability of many families to provide basic necessities. The largest components of inflation are all related to the cost of energy, which increased 35%. The federal government can have a significant impact in this area by developing legislation which expands America’s domestic production of crude oil and natural gas, along with renewables such as solar and wind power. Since the beginning of the pandemic four refineries have been closed. Development incentives can change this, which would result in increased capacity to produce more fuel and thereby lower consumer’s cost.

Share your stance on gun control/2nd Amendment rights.      

There have been 309 mass shootings during 2022 in America, averaging about 11 per week. More than 220 people were shot and killed in the U.S. over the July 4th weekend. This problem is uniquely American. We must get out of the culture war. We can protect the 2nd Amendment and keep our communities safe. We need to elect thoughtful, moderate leaders to make meaningful change. Jerry Moran voted with the extremists in voting against the recent bi-partisan gun bill. This bill was a good first step but we must continue to look at thoughtful, bi-partisan legislature that will address this crisis in our country.

Where do you stand on LGBTQ issues and rights?      

I fully support LGBTQ rights. In 2018, I co-founded Mainstream UMC, a global campaign within the United Methodist Church to advocate for the ordination and marriage of the LGBTQ+ community within the church. I have worked for LGBTQ+ rights in the church and will do so at the federal level. I support the Equality Act. Our Founding Fathers said, “liberty and justice for all.” All means all.     

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

As I’ve traveled across Kansas one thing that I constantly hear from small and medium sized businesses is that they are having difficulty finding enough workers to meet their growth needs. Other individuals have spoken out about the continued decline in population of their towns over the years. The most recent census report has shown that close to 90 counties across the state have lost population in the last decade.

I believe that we can have both a secure border while also having a smart immigration policy that can provide the necessary workforce to help both our communities thrive. Whether that is migrant farmers to assist with the wheat harvest or medical doctors who can provide needed specialists for struggling rural hospitals, a focused immigration policy can play an active role.

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

Kansas’s climate is changing in measurable ways. Over the past hundred years, most of the state has warmed by at least half a degree. By 2050, Kansas is likely to have four times as many days above 100°F. The soil is becoming drier. Warming winters and changes in the timing and size of rainfall events have altered crop yields, which hurt family farms.

Our rapidly changing climate will lead to an increase in the demand for water, but ironically make it less available. Approximately 22% of the farmland in Kansas is irrigated, mostly with ground water from the Ogallala Aquifer. As a result, the aquifer is becoming depleted. Since the 1950s, the amount of water stored in the aquifer has declined by more than 25%. Crop yields would decline by about 50% in fields that can no longer be irrigated.

The economic impact of climate change in Kansas is real. I believe that all branches of government are needed to address the underlying causes of climate change, but also address the impact on our communities.

Do you think the U.S. should do more about the situation in Ukraine?

Ukraine is a key regional strategic partner of the United States. Along with our allies, and our partners worldwide, we are united in the support of Ukraine in response to Russia’s premeditated war. Since January 2021, the United States has invested more than $7.9 billion in security assistance to demonstrate our commitment to Ukraine. I am committed to making Ukraine’s security a top priority in order to provide the equipment and resources it needs to defend itself.