Voters who have not yet cast ballots in this year’s elections will head to the polls Tuesday with many choices to make. We encourage you to participate, and more importantly at this moment, to prepare yourself to make those choices.
In the event that some of you are looking for guidance, we offer the following recommendations:
First, we recommend voters in Manhattan support the proposal for a one-half-percent sales tax to promote economic development. Most of the money will go to reducing city debt, but the crucial piece is to encourage job growth, which is vital to the future of the community. This tax would run for 10 years. Voting in favor of that tax will not raise the sales tax rate from its current level because a similar county tax is due to expire.
Now, as to the people running for office:
For the United States Senate, Roger Marshall. He is currently the member of Congress representing the Manhattan area, and we remain optimistic that he will grow into the role and represent Kansas in the Senate with the pragmatic, collaborative approach that so many of his Republican predecessors in the Senate have shared. His opponent, Barbara Bollier, a Democrat who until recently was a Republican, is a good candidate, but we feel Rep. Marshall will be a better advocate for Manhattan’s interests.
We recommend Tracy Mann for the U.S. House of Representatives. He is a former student body president at Kansas State University, and he will represent this area quite well.
For the state Senate, we endorse Tom Hawk. He is the current office-holder, and has long represented the Manhattan-Junction City area effectively as a coalition-builder.
There are two seats in the state House representing Manhattan. In the contested race, Mike Dodson faces Cheryl Arthur in a bid for an open seat. We support Mr. Dodson, a former Manhattan mayor and commanding general at Fort Riley. He’s extremely well-prepared.
For the Riley County Commission, some voters will have to choose between Fanny Fang and Greg McKinley, and others will pick between John Matta and Katherine Focke. We recommend Mr. McKinley and Ms. Focke, both of whom we would expect to bring professionalism, balance and pragmatism to the county.
With one exception, we have no qualms recommending support of the unopposed candidates, or of retaining all the judges on the ballot. We supported writing in Manhattan’s Dave Colburn in the primary for the state school board, rather than the unopposed Salina incumbent Deena Horst, and we stand by that position. Mr. Colburn would be excellent.
You’ll note that we’re not endorsing a candidate for President. We announced that a month ago, saying at the time that there was no point, since nearly everyone has his or her mind made up already and we would simply be howling in the wind, one way or another. It is an important choice for all Americans to make, and we trust that you’ll inform yourself and make the choice that you believe in.
And that’s the main point. Get informed, and vote.