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.
Troy L. Waymaster was born in Russell, Kansas, and raised on the family farm south of Bunker Hill, Kansas. He graduated from Russell High School and attended the University of Kansas. After graduating from KU with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, he enrolled at Fort Hays State University to pursue a Master’s in Business Administration. A few months later he was hired as an account manager with Chrysler Financial, the finance division of the Chrysler Corporation.
During Troy’s time with Chrysler, he assumed many different positions, including Customer Service Manager for the Charlotte, NC, office; Zone Collections Manager for the Phoenix, AZ, office, and later relocated to Dallas, Texas, to assume the position of Loan Analyst. After nearly six years with Chrysler, Troy decided that he wanted to return home to Russell, Kansas. He then began working for UMB Bank as Branch Manager and Assistant Vice-President for the banks in Russell, Luray, and Hudson, Kansas. During his time with UMB, Troy received many awards, including the Best Performance Large Banking Center in 2010 for the Kansas/Oklahoma Region. Troy became extremely involved in the Russell Community. He twice served as the President of the Russell Main Street Program, of which he is still a board member; the Russell Area Chamber of Commerce Board, Rotary Club of Russell, Kansas, and is also a member of the Masons, York Rite, and Shrine.
In 2012, Troy decided to run for the Kansas House District 109. He served his first term beginning in January 2013 and he is currently serving his 10th year in the legislature, where he serves as the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. Troy and his wife, Crystal, currently live on the farm where he was raised after purchasing it from his parents when they decided to move to Russell. Troy and Crystal are the proud parents of a son, Christian, age 3.
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What do you think should be done to help Kansans dealing with high costs?
The state of Kansas is currently experiencing a large budget surplus, approximately $1.2 billion when we concluded the legislative session. Plus, we have over $900 million in our Rainy Day fund due to the actions of the Kansas Legislature. There is concerns that there is a recession that is looming, however, I contend that we have financially placed the state of Kansas that can weather a recessional storm. That being said, we need to reevaluate our tax structure and try to reduce the amount that Kansans pay in taxes. That is the best way to help Kansans with the high costs that we are experiencing due to inflation.
Share your thoughts on abortion rights and restrictions.
I am pro-life and have always been endorsed by Kansans for Life. I have always been honest on my position and the only rationale for an abortion would be in cases of rape, incest, or if the life of the mother is in jeopardy. The legislature in the past years passed legislation for the regulation of abortion clinics and the restriction of some abortion practices, which I supported, however those laws were reversed by the Kansas Supreme Court.
Do you think KanCare should be expanded? Why or why not?
I would be willing to look at the expansion of KanCare as long as we address the other needs regarding medicaid. I would be supportive of work requirements to be included in KanCare Expansion. Though, we need to first address the Kansans that are currently on the waiting list, many of which who have been on the waiting list for years. KanCare Expansion would not assist these individuals on the waiting list that the state of Kansas currently has and has had for years.
What is your stance on the legalization of medical marijuana? Recreational marijuana?
I have always been a staunch advocate for the legalization of medical marijuana. This position derives from personal experiences where I knew someone who was suffering from cancer and had to resort to going to Colorado for medical marijuana to relieve their pain. I have spoke publicly in favor of medical marijuana on the House floor when we debated the bill to legalize marijuana during the legislative session of 2021.
Share your thoughts about transgender athletes in sports.
I have voted for the Protection of Womens Sports twice in the legislature. There are distinct physicality differences between biological males and females and that would generate an unfair competitive advantage if a biological male would participate in a woman’s sport. The bills that were passed by the legislature simply were to protect biological women that participate in sports.
What are your thoughts on election integrity in Kansas? Across the United States? Would you change the election process and how?
The state of Kansas has some of the best elections laws which was made evident by the recounts after the primary election. There were many requests that I received from all over the state of Kansas following the 2020 election requesting for the state of Kansas to conduct an election audit. I feel that there was no need in the state of Kansas to conduct an audit, and spend millions of dollars, due to the election laws that we have in place and that the results from an audit would not have changed the individuals that won, especially on the Federal level. As a state representative, I have focused on the election laws with the state of Kansas and not those of other states.
What are the issues you would address for farmers and ranchers?
As a farmer myself, there are many issues that are affecting our farmers and ranchers. Although, I will preface, that there is very little that the state of Kansas can do as they are more Federal programs that can assist our farmers and ranchers. Due to inflation, farmers and ranchers are being hit with rising fuel, equipment, feed, and chemical and fertilizer prices. On a Federal level we need to ensure that we have effective trade agreements that will benefit our farmers in ranchers. The state of Kansas has alleviated some pressures on our farmers and ranchers by passing a sales tax exemption on fencing equipment, a bill I championed because of my constituents affected by the Four County Fire, and by passing a bill that would require fake meat labeling. Due to my strong agricultural background and voting record in the Kansas Legislature, I am the only candidate endorsed by Kansas Farm Bureau and the Kansas Livestock Association.
What are the key education issues in Kansas for K-12? For universities?
Recently, it has been reported in the past few weeks that the state of Kansas will be facing a teacher shortage. There are an array of reasons as to why this is occurring. I contend that some is stemming from the pandemic and we need to support our teachers in K-12. We have placed hundreds of millions of dollars more into K-12 education in the past few years to comply with the Gannon court decision and I would hope that our local school boards will evaluate their pay structure for teachers with these additional dollars. Our entire higher education system needs to modernize and evaluate their mission for our students. Many of our universities are creating innovation campuses which is benefiting students for job placement after they graduate. I would hope that our universities would examine their class offerings and streamline the courses to their vision and mission. We also need to assist our technical schools and community colleges as they are a pivotal component to our higher education system.
What do you think needs to be done to promote social and racial justice?
Everyone should be treated with the same respect regardless of race or personal choices. Whether it be social or racial justice, everyone has the same rights and opportunities and one should never feel that they do not. I do believe that we should not be shunned by our history, instead we should embrace it, regardless of how dark our history may me. We should also support our law enforcement for the safety and for protecting all Kansans.