I am not a career politician but I have spent my adult life in service to my country and community. I have ten years service in the US Navy, nearly twenty years of service as a law enforcement officer, I'm now in my seventh year as a public school teacher, and I served as the State Representative for Kansas House District 22 for the 2011-12 session. My plans did not include being an elected official but circumstances have a way of influencing your life. The event that dramatically changed my life was the kidnapping, sexual assault, and murder of my daughter, Kelsey. Nothing I can do will bring Kelsey back but what I can do is use that event as the impetus to make a difference in the lives of my other children, my grandchildren, and in the lives of members of my community.
I feel my service in the Legislature is a calling. My first term as the representative for District 22 was one that allowed me to answer that call. My life experiences placed me in a unique position to respond. My law enforcement career allowed me to co-sponsor legislation that safeguards our youth and young adults (Penn State Law),provides invaluable protections for our children (Caylee's Law), and provides strict penalties to those that would harm our kids (Compliance with the Adam Walsh Act). Since being elected to the Senate I have been able to pass legislation to help the missing (SB 118), remove the statue of limitations for the crimes of rape and sodomy, and provide additional funding for children who have been abused. Additionally, I strengthened state laws that put the "worst of the worst" away for a minimum of 50 years. Lastly, I supported legislation that increased school funding, provided more local control to school districts, and gave Kansas teachers a pay raise for the first time in years. I appreciate the strong support of the people of the 21st Senate District. I will continue to be your voice in Topeka.
My teaching career has allowed me to work to change a broken school finance formula that penalizes our kids, sending our money to other parts of the state at the expense of our students. I have consistently supported legislation that would allow our schools to have a greater say in how our money is used, emphasizing "local control," and preventing your tax dollars from being used for frivolous expenditures. Additionally, I have worked to implement legislation that allows teachers to teach instead of being bound by layers of policy and regulation.
My military service gives me a perspective that freedom isn't free but is paid for with a great cost. The skills of teamwork, duty and integrity are with me today as I work to serve the people who trust me as their elected spokesperson in Topeka. It's a duty I take seriously. The work in Topeka is not finished. I am humbled by your support and your trust that has allowed me to serve as your senator for District 21. My goal is to provide you with reliable information, quality service,and transparency.