Barnett joins the race for Moran?s seat

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Jim Barnett, state senator for all but the western edge of Marion County since 2004 as part of Senate District 17, would like to continue to represent its citizens but in a different capacity.

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Newly announced congressional Jim Barnett stopped in Hillsboro during his 10-city campaign kickoff tour last week.

Barnett made a brief stop in Hillsboro last Tuesday as part of his 10-city, four-day tour to announce his bid for the Repub?lican nomination for Congress for the First Congressional District.

The physician from Emporia also made stops in Emporia, McPherson, Great Bend, Dodge City, Garden City, Hutchinson, Salina, Hays, Junction City and Clay Center.

Barnett ran unsuccessfully for Kansas governor in 2006 against Kathleen Sebelius.

The GOP race for the First District seat currently held by Jerry Moran already includes Tim Huelskamp and Rob Wasinger, Tim Barker and Sue Boldra.

Barnett said he decided to run for the seat after six months of contemplation.

?Right now Washington is a mess,? he said. ?We?re spending too much, taxing too much, borrowing too much. It is an extreme concern to me what we are doing to our children and grandchildren by passing on exorbitant debt.?

He said the current debt of $12 trillion is two-thirds as big as the country?s entire gross domestic product.

?I think we?re at a critical stage,? Barnett said. ?We have come to a point in time where we need, I believe, conservative Kansas values of fiscal responsibility and personal responsibility.?

He said he intends to work for change in a time when Democrats control the White House and both houses of Congress.

?I believe we have a liberal Congress and a liberal president,? Barnett said. ?We can?t change this overnight, but we must elect leaders with conservative values, which is critical to turning the nation in the right direction.

?I really don?t care if they?re Republican or Democrats, as long as we recognize that we can?t continue down this path of irresponsibility.?

Barnett said he has the background to effectively represent the core needs of the largely rural constituents of the First District.

?I?m a fourth-generation farm kid,? he said. ?I grew up with asthma and hay fever and was very upset that I couldn?t be a farmer. My roots will always be on the farm and I feel very comfortable and connected to the people of rural and western Kansas.

?The other big issue is health care,? he added. ?There are 75 hospitals in the First Congressional District?more than any other district in the nation. Understanding rural health care is going to be critical.

?The debate has shifted from state to federal on health care. Lord knows, we need somebody who understands health care to be a voice of reason in Washington.?

On the political spectrum of Kansas Republicans, Barnett described himself as a ?Jerry Moran conservative.?

?Jerry has those core values that we talked about and has worked in Congress hard for controlled spending and to protect the families of this district with tax policy.

?But also he?s been one who can work with others to bring home to the state of Kansas and the First Congressional District what?s needed. He?s been a great help to communities throughout the state.

?I intend to do the same.?

Barnett said if elected he will follow Moran?s practice of maintaining his primary residence in Kansas instead of Washington, D.C.

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