ELECTION 2000: State Senate, District 35

Jay Emler, Lindsborg

— Personal: Age 51; wife, Lorraine; two children at home; lived in Lindsborg for 27 years.

— Work experience: Attorney for 23 years, farmer for 15 years, municipal judge for 12 years.

— Experience-related qualifications: (1) Training as an attorney, judge and mediator gives me a solid foundation for listening to the concerns of constituents and working toward consensus resolution on issues. (2) Training as a secondary teacher and an emergency medical technician, plus experience as a small businessman and senior executive of multimillion dollar corporation, provide a strong basis for understanding the needs and concerns of educators and the medical community, as well as those of the small and large businesses. (3) Experiences in helping craft legislation for the telecommunications industry, emergency medical services, and municipal courts give me a good understanding not only of draft legislation, but also how to get the legislation enacted.

— Goals & issues: (1) School funding must be revamped so rural communities can retain and enhance their schools and recruit good teachers. (2) The future of rural hospitals must be addressed so that health care remains available locally and regionally. (3) Even though “bigger is better” is a common theme in this district, we must emphasize family businesses and farms just as much because small businesses and agriculture are a vital part of the district.

— “Why should I vote for you?” (1) My focus is not on “bigger is better;” I am focused on what’s best for the district and the constituents who elect me. (2) My experiences and background are broadbased and not concentrated in one or two areas. That broad base gives me greater understanding to work with diverse groups. (3) An experienced listener, I do not and will not decide how to vote until I have listened to all sides of the issue.

Don Steffes, McPherson

— Personal: Age 70; wife, Jane; seven grown children; lived in McPherson for 45 years.

— Work experience: Retired farmer.

— Experience-related qualifications: (1) President, chief executive officer and chairman of McPherson Bank & Trust. (2) Eight years of service as Kansas senator. (3) A lifetime of involvement in numerous community activities at local, state and national levels, usually as chairman.

— Goals & issues: (1) To enlarge the economy of Kansas, so everyone prospers. (2) To work with Gov. Bill Graves in his efforts to run a lean, efficient government. (3) To find a way to provide health insurance for low-income Kansans.

— “Why should I vote for you?” (1) I have the seniority to provide the leadership to help Marion County. (2) I will be at the “head of the table” in making things happen. (3) I am not afraid to take on special interests to protect the interests of the people of Kansas.

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