- Kansas State Treasurer (2017-Present)
- Kansas State Senate (2013-2017)
- Bachelor’s Degree from Pittsburg State University
I have been happily married to my wife, Suzanne, for 9 years. We have four children: Ava, Joe, Maggie and Gus.
Position on the Kansas Budget:
As a former legislator, I respect the legislature authority to appropriate state funding. Additionally, the Kansas Constitution requires that the budget is balanced each year and I strongly support this provision. As Treasurer, my office functions as a watchdog over public funds and acts as its bank. Strong fiscal management and a balanced budget are essential for a prosperous state.
As Treasurer, I have worked to raise awareness regarding debt in our state. If elected to a full-term, I will continue down this same path. Our children and grandchildren should not be saddled with an insurmountable debt.
Position on School Funding:
As the proud product of Kansas Public Schools and the son of a teacher, I believe in a strong educational system. Children should be given every opportunity to succeed and education is key to a bright future. Education is a primary function of State Government and essential to grow the economy.
Position on Economy & Taxes:
Economic growth should be at the forefront of any elected official’s agenda in Kansas. We should invest in key areas such as education, transportation, public safety and other core areas. At the same time, we should keep our tax burden both as low and as stable as possible to incentivize investment and risk-taking. Delivering a quality service at a reasonable cost to taxpayers plays a significant role when it comes to economic growth.
Position on Health Care:
Access to quality health care is a critical issue to Kansans, especially in our rural areas. Costs continue to increase and many Kansans are struggling to pay their bills. This is something families across the state are grappling with daily. I believe in Kansas-based solutions, not in federal government-run takeovers like Obamacare.
Position on Immigration:
When it comes to immigration, I believe in a secure border and the rule of law. I believe in the “American Dream” and am a strong proponent of legal immigration. Our current system is broken and is in need a reform.
Highest Priority Issue in Office:
Having served as State Treasurer for the last year and half, I am proud to say that we improved the services offered to all Kansans, while saving taxpayers. I have taken the time to analyze agency operations, allowing us to find innovative solutions, efficiencies, and streamline processes. For example, this last fiscal year we set a record for the most unclaimed property returned to Kansans in a single year by more than 12%. We have put over $37 million back into the pockets of Kansans. Our Learning Quest 529 Education Savings Accounts were ranked Top 5 in the nation by Forbes. We also launched the ABLE savings program for individuals living with a disability and enhanced it with legislation. Additionally, we launched a brand new, user and mobile friendly website that improves the claims process, and allows for direct deposit.
All of these things have been accomplished while decreasing the square footage of the office and reducing the budget. I list these things because not only am I running for State Treasurer, but I have a proven record of success in the office. If elected to a full-term as Treasurer, I will continue to find ways of providing Kansans with the best possible service, at the best possible cost to taxpayers. Kansans deserve this from their elected officials.
What needs to change in our state government?
The Treasurer’s role in Kansas Government is to be a watchdog over how taxpayer funds are spent. No matter who is Governor, Republican or Democrat, it is important to have a separate elected official checking the books. In order to better perform this role, my office has been looking at implementing an online checkbook, which would disclose state expenditures down to the transaction level—save for areas where personal privacy and public safety are a concern. I believe Kansans deserve this information and should feel empowered to hold their elected officials accountable.