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John Doll, Kansas Senator and Lt Governor candidate, visits in Tribune

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John Doll visits with Tribune voters at the Senior Center.

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John Doll visits with Tribune voters at the Senior Center.

John Doll, Kansas state senator representing Greeley County at the present time, was in Tribune Monday, September 17, to visit with residents. Doll also is currently the candidate for Lt. Governor, running with Greg Orman, Independent candidate for Kansas Governor. Doll grew up in Ingalls, Kansas, and has worked on a farm, in a feedlot, and as a teacher, as well as owning a yard-spraying company. His family helped start the Irsik and Doll feedlot in Garden City. Doll explained how he learned to know Orman, and how he became his running mate. He said Orman first asked him to help with his campaign in western Kansas, and Doll agreed, and later Orman asked him to be his running mate on the Independent ticket. Greg Orman, noted Doll, was raised on a single family farm, and “is the smartest man I know.” Doll said his own family is all in agriculture so that is a big interest of his. Another major interest is cultivating industrial hemp, which requires little water and has many by-products, including cups, straws, CBD medicines, and many other items. There is no TCH in hemp, he added, although it is a schedule 1 substance. He hopes that in the new farm bill, hemp will be declassified, opening the door to an opportunity for Kansas. Doll said he is a “type A” person and wants to be the last person who leaves the room when the issues are agriculture. He says if he wins, he will be there for four years, and no more, since he believes in term limits. Doll discussed the idea that a vote for Orman/Doll is a vote for Kobach and said that this is not true. He believes that if Laura Kelly, the Democratic candidate for governor, wins there will be a halt to much legislation because no bills in the Senate will be allowed to get to the point of being voted on. Medicaid expansion, said Doll, has changed nine times since Trump has become president. Orman has read the entire Affordable Care Act and says that we must first see what Medicaid expansion now looks like. It could be very good for rural Kansas or it could not be. Another difference between Orman and Kelly is the question of where do you cut and where do you spend? Doll said that Kelly says there’s no place to cut or adjust. However, Doll said an example is the prison system, which could be cut in a number of places. Doll taught school for 20 years and so knows a lot about education. “Teaching is a lot more than education.” The Democratic candidates have no experience in education, he said. A question was asked, that if Orman and Doll are elected, what are their priorities for the state of Kansas. Doll said their priorities for the state are: economic development - bring businesses in, turn the economy around – we need to use our strengths such as central location for distributing products ordered on the internet and then we need infrastructure development to support that distribution; industrial hemp; emphasize selling our products; maintaining the aquifer; keep our kids in Kansas, and especially western Kansas. he family farm is something of the past – half of the land in western Kansas is owned by out of state landowners. Doll noted that Kris Kobach, the Republican candidate for governor, wants to go back to tax cuts that were unsuccessful by former Kansas governor Sam Brownback. Question: Where does revenue to run the state come from with all these tax cuts? For example, the schools don’t have enough funds – they need to be overfunded. Doll said business expansion is critical. Economic development such as production of industrial hemp is a major part of that. Small hemp factories could be in small western Kansas towns like Tribune, Leoti, and Syracuse, and processing plants would change the dynamics of these small towns. These would be consistent revenue makers, provide jobs, and would help lower local taxes. It is important to look several years down the road, said Doll. Discussion was held on wind farms as a resource. Solar farms and wind farms need transmission lines in northern and western Kansas to get energy to the front range and we blew it since the coal plant was not approved, commented Doll. Kansas could have sold energy to Colorado. Further discussion was held on the medical system, maintaining the status quo in Tribune, paying for medical school for students, available housing in Tribune, education budget pros and cons, the need to bring in industry that doesn’t bring down the aquifer, and that fewer farmers now have full-time hired hands.
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