Archive for Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Education, economy top priorities in District 42 race

October 23, 2012

Education funding is a top priority for Harold Fevurly Jr. in the House District 42 race.

Fevurly, of Easton, is the Democratic challenger facing another Leavenworth County resident, Republican incumbent Connie O’Brien of Tonganoxie.

Fevurly, who is 50, said he’s heard several concerns while campaigning door-to-door regarding education funding.

“It’s funded below 1999 levels right now,” said Fevurly, a former Pleasant Ridge USD 449 school board member.

The 65-year-old O’Brien, who is seeking her third term, said the economy is the biggest concern among residents. She pointed to a tax bill that is to lower income tax from 6.3 to 5.7 percent effective next July as a step toward helping the economy.

O’Brien, a former teacher, said if re-elected she plans to reintroduce a bill introduced late last session that would provide in-state tuition to veterans.

“We’ve provided for illegal immigrants,” O’Brien said. “We can provide for our own citizens who are veterans.”

Her intentions stemmed from a conversation with a friend who is in the military. The soldier knew of someone who wanted to attend college in his home state, but it did not offer a degree in which he was interested. Kansas University does, but he would have to pay the more costly out-of-state tuition.

“We want to do all we can for our veterans,” O’Brien said. “Everyone talks about that. This is one way we can help them.”

She said an influx of veterans also would in turn help the economy.

Fevurly worked some 28 years with the Department of Corrections in Lansing. He took over as director of facilities and grounds for USD 449, which forced him to resign his post on the school board there.

Though education funding is a top priority, he disagrees with O’Brien on the income tax cut.

“However you look at it, the state has to run,” he said, noting that no one likes taxes, but residents should pay “their fair share.”

“That’s going to trickle down to local school boards, counties and cities,” he said. “The only way to do that is to raise property taxes to make that difference up.”

O’Brien’s endorsements include Kansans For Life, the NRA and Kansas Chamber of Commerce.

Fevurly describes himself as a moderate “straight down the middle.”

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