A bulging ballot for Republicans


July 29, 2010 - 12:00 AM

The Republican primary election ballot is loaded with choices.
Here are a few that have not been in the headlines.
Sen. Derek Schmidt of Independence is asking for the nomination for attorney general. He is opposed by Ralph J. De Zago of Herrington.
Schmidt has represented this senatorial district in the Kansas Legislature since 2000 and is well-known in the area. He stood out as a natural leader early in his Senate career and is majority leader of the Senate. Sen. Schmidt is one of the most effective public speakers in Kansas, has a thorough grasp of Kan-sas government and has political, academic and legal experience that qualify him to be an outstanding attorney general. He would serve as the state’s top legal officer without an ideological ax to grind. His only agenda would be to serve Kansas and Kansans well.
Kansas Commissioner of Insurance Sandy Praeger is being challenged by David Powell of El Dorado, an insurance agent.
Commissioner Praeger deserves the Republican nomination and re-election in November. She has done an outstanding job of regulating an industry operated by very bright executives eager to improve the bottom line of their companies. Commissioner Praeger has kept her office on the side of consumers throughout her career.
Over the past two years, she has made herself an expert on health care insurance and has been called upon to testify before Congress on various aspects of the new health care law as it worked its tortuous way to passage. She understands how important federal policy on Medicaid and other federal health care programs are to the Kansas state budget and will work to protect Kansas as implementation of that massive legislation proceeds.
There are three candidates for nomination for secretary of state on the Republican ticket. Elizabeth “Libby” Ensley stands out as best. Ensley is now election commissioner for Shawnee County, an office she has held for 18 years. Prior to that she worked in the secretary of state’s office for 11 years and came to understand every department of that important record-keeping arm of state government.
Ensley has worked as a public servant and has no wealth of her own to compete against her well-financed opponents — but she stands head and shoulders above them in experience and in the opinion of the very impressive list of Kansas Republican leaders who have endorsed her, including former U.S. Sen. Nancy Landon Kassebaum, former Gov. Bill Graves, and former secretaries of state Ron Thornburgh and Jack Brier.
Her high-profile opponent, Kris Kobach, best known for writing the controversial Arizona immigration law, may face charges for gross mismanagement of the Kansas Republican Party headquarters while he was chairman a couple of years ago. Because of his overriding interest in the immigration issue — a matter unrelated to the office he seeks in Kansas — some political ob-servers feel he wants the office as a stepping stone and has no more interest in the day-to-day record-keeping responsibilities the job entails than he showed in managing Republican affairs when he was head of the state party.
Please vote for Libby Ensley.
Second District Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins faces Dennis Pyle in the primary. State Sen. Pyle hopes to convince voters Rep. Jenkins isn’t conservative enough to deserve re-election. He proudly stands on the outer right edge of the political spectrum. Meanwhile, Rep. Jenkins continues to follow the Republican leadership line wherever it takes her. She is, in a word, dependably conservative. She also is gaining seniority with every passing year, which is the basic ingredient of power  — the ability to get things done — in the nation’s capital. She should have the vote of thoughtful Republicans.
Those who want to know more about those running for office in Tuesday’s election can find oodles of information on the Internet by asking Google or Yahoo. Bone up and vote.

— Emerson Lynn, jr.

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