A challenger in this year’s race for the 1st congressional district of Kansas wants the state to return to center stage on agricultural issues.
Looking to unseat Congressman Tim Huelskamp, Roger Marshall emphasizes his credentials as a farmer and his shared concerns with Kansans working in the agricultural economy.
“I understand agriculture, and I understand business,” Marshall, an obstetrician from Great Bend, said Wednesday during a tour of Finney County Feedyard that was part of an agricultural tour of the region.
“I’m a fifth-generation farmer, I worked at a sale barn for three years, I’m part of an agriculture bank that has eight branches in the Big First, I’m feeding cattle now, I have land that we’re releasing out for pasture,” he said.
Marshall said he believes his campaign has a great chance to win because Huelskamp “has pretty much lost much favor with anybody in the state.”
“Unfortunately, we don’t have a voice anymore in the House of Representatives from this district, so first and foremost, we need someone at the table to be able to communicate the needs of agriculture,” said Marshall, who has served as vice chairman for Farmer’s Bank and Trust.
Huelskamp lost his seat on the House Agriculture Committee in December 2012, leaving Kansas without a member on the committee for the first time in more than a century. Citing Huelskamp’s ouster from the committee, the Kansas Livestock Association endorsed Marshall.
Marshall met with Jeff George, a managing partner at Finney County Feedyard, Inc., on Wednesday.
“One of our No. 1 economies here is ag, so that’s probably a first and foremost priority to get good representation at a national level,” George said.
Marshall’s visit to the feed yard northeast of Garden City was the candidate’s second to last stop on a four-day, six-community “listening tour” of Kansas’ first district. “The Big First” is comprised of 63 counties, including Finney.
Alan LaPolice, a student retention specialist from Clyde, is also in the race.
From the beginning of the election cycle to to Dec. 31, 2015, Marshall’s campaign raised more than $375,000. When the campaign filed its year-end report, it had more than $340,000 in cash on hand.
In that period, political contributions from individuals in Garden City included $2,700 from Steve O’Brate, general manager of Palmer Manufacturing; $2,500 from Cecil O’Brate, president of American Warrior Energy; $2,500 from Frances O’Brate; $2,500 from Herbert James Swender, assistant to the president of American Warrior Energy; $1,000 from Royal Farms Dairy LLC, $1,000 from William Clifford, a Finney County commissioner and physician at Fry Eye Associates; $1,000 from Luther Fry, an Ophthalmologist at Fry Eye Associates, $1,000 from Lee Reeve, owner of Reeve Cattle Co., Inc.; $1,000 from Lance Woodbury, a consultant with Ag Progress; and $473.50 from the Clarion Inn and $154.12 from Samy’s Spirits and Steakhouse, both of which are owned by Amro Samy.
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