Garden City, KS(westernkansasnews.com) Secretary of State Kris Kobach and his new running-mate Wichita businessman Wink Hartman made a gubernatorial campaign stop at Stevens Park in Garden City Thursday. Kobach announced Hartman as his running mate on Wednesday.
Kobach touted his success as Secretary of State during the visit.
“I promised we’d have the most secure elections in the country and we do. We’re the only state that has photo ID, proof of citizenship and prosecutorial authority at the state level, now we have them and of course the ACLU doesn’t like that and is trying to fight us on it. I also promised I’d try to shrink the size of government, I took an agency that had a $7 million a year budget and shrunk it to $4.6 million a year, we didn’t do that by firing a lot of people we just relied on natural attrition and the baby boomers are retiring right now, we tried not to rehire after those retirement and divvy those responsibilities to other employees and get by with fewer employees. The third thing is I said I would make Kansas an easier state to start a business in. We moved forms online and we established the Kansas Business Center, it’s online one-stop resource with everything you need to know,” said Kobach.
Kobach also said the reason he decided to run for Governor was because the state is in a “mess.”
“We just had a $1.2 billion income tax hike on the heels of our largest sales tax hike in 2015, ” said Kobach, “we’ve got allegations of sexual harassment at the capitol, we’ve got a child foster care system in disarray, spending continues to increase for no reason, we’ve become the sanctuary state of the Midwest, we don’t have term limits and as a result we have people like Anthony Hensley, who’s the Senate Majority Leader for the Democrats, he’s been there since Gerald Ford was in office, if you’re wondering why things don’t change very quickly, one of the reasons is some people have been there way too long.”
He said he wants Hartman as Lieutenant Governor to operate as the Chief Operating Officer of Kansas. Saying that he wants Hartman to look at agencies as a businessman and see if they can save taxpayers money. Hartman touted Kobach as a true conservative.
“Kris has already shown himself as someone that can be tough, be able to get the job, very effective and understands how to do things efficiently,” said Hartman.
Hartman went on to say he only want to serve the state and is not looking to build a political resume. Hartman also noted his first job was in Garden City when he was 14. Hartman has one of the largest independent gas operations in the state an also started Hartman Arena in Park City and is in banking, dining and trucking as well.
“I understand how to balance budgets, I’ve been doing it for 50 years,” said Hartman, “it’s nothing mystical it’s called zero based budgeting, it’s time for Topeka to learn that.”
Hartman also vowed that as Lieutenant Governor he would fix the issues at DCF and the Department of Commerce.
Kobach also weighed in on the issue of school funding.
“We have been focused far too much on the dollars spent and not enough on where it’s spent, I think the notion that if you spend money on a fancy building the students will learn more is absurd. We have spent so much money on administrators and buildings and not enough on classroom, by classroom I mean teachers salaries and what the students use to learn,” said Kobach.