Republican Primary Candidate questionnaire: Mark Gilstrap, Senate Dist. 5
The following are Mark Gilstrap's answers to The Chieftain's primary candidate questionnaire.
Biographical information for Mark Gilstrap
Years lived in district: 35 years
Family: Wife of 36 years, JoAnne and three adult children and two grandchildren
Professional experience: Deputy Revenue Director for the Unified Government of Wyco
Political and civic experience: Former Kansas State Senator, member of the KCK, Bonner Springs, Basehor, Leavenworth/Lansing chamber of commerces.
Why did you decide to run for this seat?
I did not feel that our current Senator was representing the values of the 5th Senate District. She was following the Liberal agenda of the likes of Barrack Obama and Kathleen Sebelius of tax and spend and when she had the opportunity to vote to allow the people to vote on whether we wanted Obamacare , she voted no. That Resolution died by one vote. The current Senator had only been in office for two years and she decided she did not want to be our Senator anymore and ran for Lt. Governor. I will commit to the people that if elected, I will be there Senator and I will not run for anything else.
What will be your primary goal or goals if elected?
We must get control of spending. Governor Brownback has turned things around in his two short years but much more needs to be done. Even though we have a budget surplus for 2013 we have a debt of around 15 billion dollars that needs to be addressed. Our State has to be competitive with the surrounding States when it comes to taxes. I want the people to have more money in their pockets on payday instead of turning it over to the State coffers.
Do you think schools are adequately funded? If not, what would be a proper level of funding and how would the state get that revenue?
K-12 and higher education takes up 2/3rds of the States budget and some would say that is plenty and others would say it is not enough. What I would like to see is the local School Boards to have more freedom on how they spend the money that is allocated to them from the State. I do agree that the School finance formula needs to be studied. With the current formula there has been several lawsuits.
Are there areas in the state budget that could be reduced? Please provide specifics.
I am sure there probably are budgets that can be reduced. We fell upon hard times at the Unified Government a few years back and we had to cut just about every departments budgets. It was not easy but we all found a way to get the job done with less money. We were forced to be more efficient.
Why should voters select you instead of your opponent?
My opponent is a very fine man but what gives me the advantage is the fact that I have been involved in State Government one way or another since 1992. I am the people of the 5th Senate district and when someone has a concern they need only to call me and I can assist them.