Special at the Grandstand
“I don’t want the government putting food on your table. I want you to put food on your table – with meaningful work and real pay. This was the central message Reverend Mark Holland delivered to a group of 35 people at the Democratic candidate’s meeting on Saturday, September 10 in Kingman.
The 3rd generation Methodist pastor and former mayor of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas is currently running for United States Senate. “In a church, we don’t sit to the left or right of the sanctuary, depending on the political party,” Holland said. “Democrats and Republicans worship together, sing together in the choir, and serve together in the kitchen. Washington DC could get something out of it.
Joining Holland at the event was Bob Hernandez, candidate for the 4th House U.S. Congressional District seat; Jeanna Repass for Kansas Secretary of State; Lynn Rogers will retain his position as Kansas State Treasurer; and several local candidates.
Hernandez, who served in the US military during the Vietnam era and then again in Iraq as part of the National Guard, said respect for the Constitution and the rule of law is paramount. “January 6, 2021 was the catalyst for me when I, along with millions of Americans, saw what happened and on the same day Ron Estes voted to reject the legitimate election results,” said recalled Hernandez, a former registered Republican. “Any attempt to overthrow American democracy is inexcusable.”
Jeanna Repass, a candidate for Secretary of State, recounted the lessons she learned as a young woman from her mother, a civil rights activist and pastor, and her father, a Vietnam veteran and police officer. “My parents taught us a deep and lasting love for this country, never feeling comfortable and always rushing to make things better.” She said she was running to be the state chief electoral officer to ensure voters can vote without intimidation. In English and Spanish, she emphasized “Your vote is your voice”. Lynn Rogers recounted her many years as a farm banker in south-central Kansas. Rogers was initially elected as lieutenant governor with Laura Kelly in 2018, then accepted her nomination as state treasurer in 2021. Lynn has touted the Kelly administration’s successes in promoting economic growth statewide and rural prosperity.
Rogers also said he wants to stay on now as state treasurer to continue making critical operational improvements to the department. “There’s so much work to do, because there was so much work that wasn’t done when I took office,” Rogers said. “We must remain focused on leading with integrity and removing all obstacles that threaten our state’s economic growth.” Garth Strand, who runs for Kansas House in Reno County, wrapped up the afternoon with a call to action for attendees. “It’s not easy to show up at a local office, it takes a lot of time and risk, but the reward comes when you know you’re representing your neighbours.” Strand also shared that the enthusiasm for change he sees in Kingman is not isolated. They’re seeing record turnout at Democratic meetings in Reno County, and he was amazed at the influx of volunteer support compared to just two years ago. “Something has changed, and it’s real,” Strand said.
The event was organized by a committee of Kingman Democrats. “Voters have a choice — and we wanted to share with our neighbors what a new approach and more responsive leaders can do for Kansas,” said Faye Martin, one of the local organizers.
Pratt County residents are invited to meet with Mark Holland, Democratic candidate for the United States Senate, and Bob Hernandez, Democratic candidate for United States Representative. The event will take place Thursday, September 29 at 7 p.m. at the Pratt Community Center, 619 N Main. This is an opportunity to get information about the candidates and the issues we are facing in the November elections. This event is sponsored by Pratt County Democrats.