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 Smetana for Kansas)

Although a native Californian, I have lived in several locations before making Kansas my home. and lived her young adult years in San Diego, California. In 2001, I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development at Christian Heritage College. Patricia enlisted in the United States Army in 2002, proudly serving six years on active duty for both 3rd Infantry Division and VETCOM. I am a disabled combat veteran who deployed during Operations Iraqi Freedom III. I continued working with the military as a Department of Defense (DOD) civilian with MEDCOM in Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas for three years, globally servicing military personnel. I have since earned a Master of Arts degree in Human Service Counseling in Executive Leadership from Liberty University. I am currently in my last year of a Doctorate program also from Liberty University. My area of study is Community Care and Counseling in Marriage & Family. I have broad career experience in office administration and leadership, life coaching, counseling, child/youth services, mentoring and education. For the past decade, I have been an ordained minister. For two years I engaged in missions work both domestic and international. My Christian faith is the core of my passion and drive to seek the needs and present solutions for the betterment and welfare of mankind. I currently reside in Wakefield, Kansas with my husband, Wayne. Upon marriage, I was blessed to inherit four beautiful adult daughters and seven precious grandchildren. We have been actively developing the groundwork for a non-profit community outreach program to provide support for economically disadvantaged people in and around our community. We are also proud fur-parents to four dogs, seven cats, a lion-head rabbit (Mufasa); along with Buddy their iconic horse, and two pet cows, Star and Holly.

Campaign website/Facebook/Social Media:

Facebook: Smetana4Kansas

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

The legs of the three-legged stool need to be addressed. A reduction in sales, property, and income tax will greatly help Kansans. For example, the immediate elimination of food tax, reestablishing the Local Ad Valorem Tax Relief Fund, elimination of income tax on retirement income, and Medicaid expansion.

Share your thoughts on abortion rights and restrictions.

Although, I do not support abortion as a means of birth control, I strongly oppose any constitutional amendment that does not ‘explicitly’ secure nor value the constitutional right for exception of rape, incest, or imminent life-threatening circumstances of the mother as established with current exceptions. I believe we have come a long way and yet not far enough. Decisions concerning the health and welfare of a woman’s body should be left between the woman and her physician.

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

I support Medicaid expansion because it not only is a means to provide much needed healthcare for the uninsured, disabled, unemployed, elderly, and approximately 7,400 veterans and their families, but will also stimulate and promote the economic pulse of Kansas. An expansion would afford hospitals and medical facilities, especially in rural areas an opportunity to continue providing optimal care without facing funding challenges for compensation of care, create close to 23,000 jobs in healthcare, retail, construction, finance, and insurance; reduce business taxes, provide insurance coverage for small businesses, garner 36 million – 45 million in additional tax revenue, and stabilize healthcare cost for Kansans; thus, stimulating a rise in economic output and personal income. I am strongly in support of putting Medicaid expansion on the ballot!

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

I support the remarkable research, findings, and outcome for the legalization of medical marijuana to aid significantly to the quality of life for sufferers. It has been shown to help relieve the symptoms associated with debilitating disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder/traumatic brain injury, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s, Tourette’s, and Sickle cell anemia, to name a few.

Although I do not support legalization of recreational marijuana, this matter should be put to the voters of the state of Kansas with restrictions as the retail market of tobacco regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF). If legalization is considered, the Kansas sales tax on marijuana should be designed as such that it creates a significant tax revenue stream for the state of Kansas.

Share your thoughts about transgender athletes in sports.

While I believe that anatomical, biological, and physical disparity between ‘assigned sex at birth’ may result in disadvantages of some athletes over others, Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) has in place an approved policy that addresses related advantages and procedures for transgender student athletes which is handled respectively at every school.

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

Providing further remote ballot access in rural communities would increase the integrity of our election process. This should be implemented across the US to ensure all people have fair accessibility. Redistricting should be performed by non-partisan entities, ensuring cultural, social, and economic commonalities remain uncompromised as much as possible.

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

Quality and quantity of water source in areas that employ irrigation to enhance crop production and non-agricultural consumption of water; to include the runoff of herbicides, pesticides and chemical fertilizers into the water table and other consumable sources of potable water sources. Another area to address, is the acquisition of property employed in agriculture production by foreign interests, corporations, third party investors, should be reviewed and potentially restricted. As the Kansas farmer from the business perspective acquires available agriculture property with a business plan of that property paying for itself, foreign interests, corporations, and third party investors groups historically are not concerned with price per acre; they acquire land for simple investment or for exploitation of land; thus, forcing our Kansas farmers into a tenant position syphoning vast fiscal financial streams away from the farmer, creating significant increases in financial risk and radically reducing the profit margin the farmer/rancher needs to live on.

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

Full funding for both public and special education guaranteed by legislative action; also ensuring preservation of fiscal funding is restricted to public schools and not syphoned to fund private school operations. Full funding special education in which fiscal resources are protected against redirection to non-special education interests. Kansas educators’ salaries are 13th lowest in the nation (USA Today); thus, encouraging an exodus of talent from Kansas. Salary computation must be reviewed, analyzed, compared with the rest of the nation to determine what an appropriate, attractive, pay scale should be that retains and attracts educator talent to the state of Kansas. Support actions to return educators back to their primary role as teachers versus child management and multiple positions outside their scope of educator practices. Educators need support, staffing, resources, and comparable pay. Universities face academic program cuts and decrease in student enrollment which directly impacts the financial health of the schools.

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

Before a resolution can be achieved, there must be an established understanding of what these justices entail. Programs promoting education and awareness of social and racial justices throughout different platforms (workplace, education/school, social services, etc.) within the community would greatly bolster the identification, awareness, expectation and needs.