Paul Davis responded to the KSN News poll.
Due to technical issues, his response has been edited down for clarity.
When asked about his initial response to the KSN News Poll, Davis said, “I think it validates what I’m hearing around the state, which is a great deal of frustration with Governor Brownback’s leadership and the fact that the state is not heading in the right direction. People are concerned about our schools, they’ve seen Governor Brownback’s cuts to our schools. They’re concerned about the state of our economy, and we’re lagging behind our surrounding states and the rest of the county in economic growth. And they’re frustrated by the increased costs just to live in Kansas, their property tax[es] going up, sales tax going up, utility rates going up, and there’s a lot of frustration out there right now.”
“The issue of education is a very personal one for me. My parents are educators and teachers, and we have a 4 and a half year hold that’s going to walk into a public school classroom for the first time in a year,” said Davis, “so we, like every other parent out there, wants to make sure that our child or grandchild out there is going to have the same opportunities that I had growing up in Kansas.”
The proposed course of action, regarding education:
“What we’ve got to do is really renew the state’s commitment to our public schools and understand that our public schools are perhaps the greatest thing that contributes to the wonderful quality of life in Kansas,” said Davis. “We’ve got to have people in Topeka that are committed to public schools, make sure we fund them properly, and give them the resources they need to succeed.”
When asked about taxes, Davis replied, “Governor Brownback’s tax plan is what he’s referred to as an ‘experiment,’ and I don’t think it’s a good idea to be experimenting on the people of Kansas.”
“What we’re seeing is that his experiment is just not working, blowing a huge hole in the state budget. It’s impeding what we really need to do is get the economy performing and our ability to fund schools and critical state services,” continued Davis.
“What we really need to do is get the economy performing at the level it needs to be performing at, and if we do that, we’ll be able to make sure our schools are properly funding, mental health funding, public transportation that the public counts on from people in Topeka,” said Davis.
Regarding school funding:
“We have a school funding formula. It’s not perfect by any means, but I think it’s worked pretty well,” said Davis. “The problem is it hasn’t been funded, and we’ve got to ensure that our teachers and other school personnel have the resources they need to effectively teach our kids.”
“I’m really concerned that we’re losing 50% of our new school teachers in the first 5 years. That’s not a statistic we should be proud of. We’ve got to make sure that teachers are valued and give them what they need to get the job done in the classroom,” Davis told KSN.
“I’ve spent 12 years in the legislature, working very closely with Republicans, and I’m a coalition builder, bringing Democrats and Republicans together. That’s something I would work very hard to do as governor,” said Davis. “There are a lot of Republicans that are very, very frustrated with the direction that Governor Brownback is taking the state, and that’s why you’re seeing so many coming to our campaign. We’re very proud to have a number of prominent Republicans in the state that have chosen to go public in their support of the Davis docking ticket,” continued Davis.
Regarding the economy:
“Our economy is just not doing as well as it should be doing,” said Davis. “We are trailing our surrounding states, as far as economic growth, and was actually put in a report that the governor’s own council of economic advisers issued a couple months ago, the ‘one size fits all’ is just not an approach that’s going to work,” continued Davis.
“What we need to do is recognize that what works here in Wichita is very different than what works in Dodge City or in Hays,” said Davis.
Regarding the campaign and its future:
“There’s a lot of work yet to be done. This campaign is early, and Jill Docking and I are traveling the state every day meeting people and listening to folks about their concerns about the state, and we’re going to keep doing that for the next 4 months… And I think if we do our jobs and people recognize that we are a different kind of leadership for Kansas and they can bring us back to a moderate common sense type of leadership for Kansas that we’ve had before, from both Democrat and Republican governors, I think we’ve got a great opportunity to be successful in November,” replied Davis.
“My style of leadership is a very exclusive style to bring people together to find common ground. Governor Brownback’s style, which he honed in 16 years in D.C., is not a style in which Republicans and Democrats have worked together,” said Davis. “He couldn’t even work with a lot of people in his own party when he declared war on the moderate faction of the Republican Party in 2012. I think a lot of people saw that this is not the type of leadership we need in Kansas. I’ve got a track record of bringing people together in the state of Kansas,” said Davis.