Name: Brad Ralph (Incumbent)


Office Seeking: House of Representatives District 119, Dodge City


Party: Republican


Age as of Nov. 3: 61


Website: www.bradralph.com


Occupation: Attorney/Lawyer


Top Three Priorities if elected:


– Promoting local & state economies


— Rural transportation needs (highways, air travel, and passenger rail)


— Accessible and affordable education and workforce training


Why are you the best candidate for the office you seek?


I have lived and practiced law in Dodge City since I was a young boy. I am a product of the Dodge City school system, including St. Mary of the Plains College.


My wife and I raised a family here, and Dodge City has been everything we could have ever hoped for. It is time to use the experiences and benefits I have been provided by this community to further ensure that the future for Dodge City is sound and secure.


I am committed to that task and my record of the past 4 years in Topeka is evidence of that commitment.


How will you work with members of the opposing party to advance policies that help all Kansans?


My demonstrated votes in committees have shown my willingness to find resolution to issues important to western Kansas. You can be true to your core values and find ways to secure consensus. My entire legal career has as its foundation a commitment to finding resolution to issues and problems.


What role do you see the state government having in the expansion of broadband to rural areas and underserved urban areas?


Continued pressure for federal legislation regarding this issue. We will also press to continue to refine mapping of the affected areas. We must be certain of the actual underserved and unserved areas in order to focus our efforts.


Do you support Medicaid expansion?


I have supported expansion and continue in that position. In western Kansas it is an economic issue as well as a health care issue. If we can provide a way to sustain as many rural hospitals as possible, we can go a long way toward protecting our rural and frontier communities from population loss.


Not including Medicaid expansion, what ideas do you have to improve the quality and access to health care for Kansans?


A continuation and expansion of telemedicine will be critical for rural Kansans. We must find ways to encourage and facilitate access through digital means for the citizens of this State.


How would you grade the state’s response to COVID-19?


There would be no purpose to providing an arbitrary assessment in terms of a "grade" to the response to date. We are in the midst of this pandemic and our efforts must be focused on learning, getting better, and getting in front of this virus.


We know more now than we did six months ago, so let’s act like it and improve.


What should the state do to tackle the budget shortfall it is likely to face, barring federal aid? What other revenue sources should it look at to accomplish this (marijuana, sports betting, etc.)


It is critical that we don’t start staking out positions on issues that we don’t fully understand at the current time. We don’t know what our predicament is going to precisely be when we return to Topeka in January.


The prudent course is to continue to monitor and evaluate the situation.


The State legislature has many good resources for information and advice from which to draw upon.


At the heart of American Agriculture and part of the Animal Health Corridor, Kansas is a great place for agricultural start-ups to locate. What ideas do you have to attract these businesses to Kansas?


New businesses need a plentiful pool of qualified and trained workers.


We must focus our efforts on ensuring that we are doing those things that encourage that we train our current workers and provide incentives to keep our young people right here at home as they create and raise their families.


What should Kansas be doing to strengthen and increase vitality in rural communities?


The vitality of our rural communities is just fine. But we must continually recognize that these parts of Kansas require as much acknowledgement by our legislators as the population centers of the State.


We can accomplish this, for example, by prioritizing transportation projects, and recognizing that economic development probably looks different in rural Kansas than it does in Johnson County.


Name: Jan Scoggins


Office Seeking: House of Representatives District 119, Dodge City


Party: Democrat


Age as of Nov. 3: 74


Website: www.jan-for-representative.squarespace.com


Occupation: RetiredEducation: Bachelor’s Degree, summa cum Laude, Wichita State University


Top Three Priorities if elected:


— Medicaid Expansion


— Affordable and dependable broadband for everyone in Kansas.


— Fully funding every level of public education


Why are you the best candidate for the office you seek?


Dodge City is my home. I live here. I have dedicated my life to serving my community. My public service in the non-profit sector to being elected and serving as a Dodge City Commissioner speaks for itself. My community service in a variety of volunteer areas resulted in me being twice selected for the prestigious Woman of the Year Award, once by the Business and Professional Women, and once by the Dodge City Area Women's Chamber. I have been honored with many other awards including the Howard Moses Public Service Rainbow Award. I will devote all my time and energy to being your representative.


How will you work with members of the opposing party to advance policies that help all Kansans?


In every area of my life I have successfully worked with others to resolve problems for the benefit of all. My leadership style is one that includes everyone. I carefully listen to every viewpoint. My years of service as the Executive Director of Dodge City's Crisis Center, I provided advocacy for infants, women and all domestic violence and sexual assault victims. My 15 years serving as the Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman, I advocated for the rights of our loved ones in our nursing homes. Successful advocacy takes a unique ability to work with every personality in a variety of situations to bring about a result acceptable to all. I will use these same unique leadership skills to work with everyone from every view point in Topeka.


What role do you see the state government having in the expansion of broadband to rural areas and under-served urban areas?


Many years back I served on a task force designed to bring affordable and dependable broadband to every part of Kansas. This task force was dissolved under Governor Brownback. I feel that broadband expansion is essential for every walk of life. The federal government need only follow the steps taken when electricity was not available to everyone. A similar approach can be taken to bring affordable and dependable broadband to everyone in our nation.


Do you support Medicaid expansion?


I am definitely in support of Medicaid Expansion. Several years back I attended the very first Dodge City forum on Medicaid Expansion given by The Alliance for a Healthy Kansas. I have been appalled that it has not passed in Kansas. Healthy citizens make for a prosperous community. Public health is important for a healthy and viable community. To speak to the benefits of Ford County/Dodge City, it is anticipated that Medicaid Expansion will create an additional 316 jobs and provide insurance for 1,839 individuals between ages 18 and 64 who will have health coverage. Our emergency room, local doctors offices, and our hospital will not have to "write off debts" for those who are uninsured. Our community receives economic gains through a healthier workforce as individuals can receive routine care, early diagnosis, and preventive care. The additional jobs for doctors, nurses, medical support staff, and maintenance workers created by Medicaid Expansion will boost out economy and grow small businesses. It is anticipated that it will bring approximately $12 million to our economy. The states that have voted Medicaid Expansion in are enjoying economic gains and have been able to pay for their share of the cost by applying funds from their own programs to Medicaid-financed programs.


Not including Medicaid expansion, what ideas do you have to improve the quality and access to health care for Kansans?


Telemedicine is essential and is the future of health care. This is, of course, dependent on Kansans having access to affordable and dependable broadband. One involves the other. Until affordable and dependable broadband is available to all Kansans, telemedicine sites with all health safety precautions may be the answer until we can have broadband accessible for all Kansans.


How would you grade the state’s response to COVID-19?


The State is doing the best it can under the circumstances. It is responding to the will of the people.What should the state do to tackle the budget shortfall it is likely to face, barring federal aid?


What other revenue sources should it look at to accomplish this (marijuana, sports betting, etc.)


I believe that legalizing some aspects of marijuana use is going to happen at one time or another. It should carefully be introduced. Likewise, if we were to expand medicaid we would see quite a different in our prosperity. In Ford County/Dodge City medicaid expansion will cover health insurance for over 1,800 adults. This creates approximately 316 new health industry jobs, resulting in a benefit to our community of an anticipated twelve billion dollars. Every state that has implemented Medicaid Expansion has seen it as a true benefit to their prosperity. We must also remember that we are a Global Economy and tariffs need to be carefully scrutinized for their effectiveness.At the heart of American Agriculture and part of the Animal Health Corridor, Kansas is a great place for agricultural start-ups to locate.


What ideas do you have to attract these businesses to Kansas?


Local tax incentives are a welcome respite for new businesses. Promoting the rural life and open spaces as opposed to big cities is an attraction, particularly with the COVID-19 environment.


What should Kansas be doing to strengthen and increase vitality in rural communities?


The results of the Rural Prosperity Listening Tour showed that strong public schools, livable wages, youth activities, access to higher educational opportunities, affordable housing, affordable broadband, and healthcare are essential for a rural community. The state needs to look at these and work with our small communities, to help in each of these areas.


In closing, I want to thank each of you for taking time from your busy schedule to read my comments. I want to thank the Dodge City Daily Globe for being a part of this opportunity to share the thoughts of our local candidates. It is quite an honor to be a candidate for the House of Representatives of the 119th District. You can count on me to be your voice in Topeka.