Gubernatorial hopeful visits Tonganoxie
A large bus that rolled into Tonganoxie last Wednesday indicated the election season is in high gear.
On the sides of the bus were two large signs that read "Robin Jennison for Governor."
The Republican hopeful from Healy, a small community about 55 miles north of Garden City, spoke during a forum with about 20 local residents at the Veterans of
Foreign Wars post home.
State Rep. Kenny Wilk, R-Lansing, introduced Jennison.
"I've known Robin for a number of years," Wilk said.
"I'm supporting Robin, but this year is your opportunity to decide what you think of Robin."
Issues such as school finance, property tax, tourism and the evolution debate were discussed during the forum.
Early in the forum, Jennison discussed school finance.
He said he doesn't believe the Kansas Supreme Court should be involved with the process.
"I don't care where you've been in school finance, too much money or not enough," Jennison said, referring to people's stances on the issue. "You don't want seven people meeting behind closed doors deciding the future of this state."
Jennison, a graduate of Fort Hays State University, has operated his family's farm since 1976.
¢ Leavenworth County Democrats will be having a barbecue at 6 p.m. Saturday at Veterans of Foreign Wars Park in Tonganoxie.
¢ Local residents are welcome to meet and greet Democratic candidates seeking terms in this year's election.
¢ State Rep. Candy Ruff, D-Leavenworth, who will be at the barbecue, said Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and attorney general candidate Paul Morrison are expected to attend. Morrison will challenge Kansas attorney general Phill Kline in November.
Jennison also served from 1990 to 2000 in the Legislature, where he was elected majority leader and speaker of the House. Jennison left the Legislature and, with four associates, founded Kansas Outdoors, which promotes tourism and outdoor recreation in the state.
He also has been a lobbyist in Topeka since leaving the House.
During the forum, Tonganoxie resident Harold Denholm discussed the evolution issue and the State Board of Education. Denholm said the school board has "made Kansas the laughingstock of the world."
Jennison said that in 1993 he proposed nixing the state school board and replacing it with a secretary of education.
The candidate, who is one of several GOP hopefuls looking to unseat Democratic incumbent Kathleen Sebelius, already had visited 55 counties in eight days, Jennison said.
He stressed that the Kansas economy needed a boost, and that tourism was a major key in energizing the economy.
Gambling has been a hot topic as a way to help fund the state. Jennison said, if elected, he wouldn't lobby for state-run casinos, but he likely would approve it if the measure reached his desk.
He noted that too many Kansas dollars were being spent in casinos in Missouri and Oklahoma.
Jennison's running mate is Dennis Wilson, a senator from Overland Park who also served in the Kansas House from 1995 to 1999. He then was appointed to the state treasurer's office and in 2004 returned to the Legislature, this time in the Senate.
The primary election will be held Tuesday. If he wins the primary, Jennison would face Sebelius in the Nov. 7 general election.