Candidate Questionnaire: Owen Donohoe, 39th District Kansas House of Representatives
The following are the responses to the Dispatch's candidate questionnaire from Owen Donohoe, who is running as a Republican for the 39th District seat in the Kansas House of Representatives, which covers western Shawnee. He faces Shelee Brim and incumbent Charles Macheers in the Aug. 2 primary.
Occupation: Medical Device Sales
Family: wife Charlene, we just celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary; 5 Children; 16 Grandchildren
Years lived in district: 17 years
Previous political experience: State Representative District 39 2006-2012
Other community service: Member of St. Joseph Parish; Volunteer and support events and organizations through our church, Veterans groups and other community organizations; KFL, Catholic Charities, Wounded Warrior Project, Disabled Veterans of America Unbound Sponsor
Campaign website: www.repdonohoe.com
What made you decide to run for office?
Having no desire to be a career politician, I resigned in 2012 after having fulfilled my pledge to reduce taxes ad reduce the size and scope of government. Unfortunately, Citizens of the 39th District were the victims of ineffective representation and lack of leadership in the Kansas state house the last four years. Because of my recommendation for the current representative, I felt compelled to run again and bring effective leadership back to Topeka.
What special qualifications would you bring to this office?
As a business owner, I have to manage a budget, provide healthcare coverage, and navigate a tough economic climate in the medical industry. I have had many large corporations ask me to consult on business practices and how to survive in a tough economic climate. I am an entrepreneur who has a history of solving difficult problems. These experiences, as well as my previous legislative experience, make me uniquely qualified to help fix the Kansas budget and create job growth.
How do you plan to stay in touch with constituents if you are elected?
I am available by phone or email any time a constituent has a question. In the past, I have sent out newsletters to anyone who has signed up to receive it.
As you have been campaigning, what issue have you found is most important for constituents in your district? How would you address this issue?
The main issue I hear at the door is the concern for the economic condition of Kansas. As I've pointed out, there are a myriad of solutions that can solve this problem which has been caused more by lack of leadership than economic distress. When I explained my economic plan to voters at the door, the majority of the voters agreed that these were plausible solutions that necessitated good leadership, which I intend to provide with my business acumen as well as previous legislative experience.
In your own opinion, aside from or in addition to the above issue, what are the three most important issues facing the state and how would you address them?
• Economic Growth: We have competition from other states for business and economic growth. We must provide a business climate that attracts new businesses to Kansas to increase our economic base.
• Education: I believe we need to eliminate Common Core. I also think we need to expand our trade school opportunities and provide more opportunities for virtual education and charter schools.
• Western Kansas: we need to find economic opportunities for western Kansas that will increase their tax base and reduce their economic dependence on Johnson County tax dollars.