Voters in this west-central Wichita district should return longtime Democratic legislator Tom Sawyer to the House after his stint on the now-disbanded Kansas Parole Board. Sawyer is a former House majority and minority leader and was his party’s gubernatorial nominee in 1998. His knowledge, experience and balanced, commonsense approach to lawmaking would be invaluable next session, when so many legislators will be new.
Republican Benny Boman has had a weak first term, tilting at windmills like Agenda 21 and favoring tax cuts at all costs.
-Wichita Eagle Editorial Endorsement 10/26/2012
On June 11, 2012 Tom Sawyer announced that he was once again running for State Representative.
He filed because he was sick and tired of watching the current legislature bicker and fight and fail to get things done.
Tom Sawyer was frustrated seeing the legislature fight and get very little accomplished over the last couple of years.
He couldn't believe they were unable to agree on a sensible tax plan for the state of Kansas.
He couldn't believe they passed a budget that is projected to leave the state with a huge deficit in a few years.
He couldn't believe they passed a school finance plan that forces school districts such as the Wichita district to close neighborhood schools.
The last straw was when the Kansas Legislature failed to do their job and draw maps for the Kansas House, Senate, the Kansas Congressional districts and the State Board of Education. Kansas was the only legislature in the whole country that failed to do their job and draw election district maps. What they couldn't do in 99 days, 3 Federal court judges accomplished in 8 days.
When Tom Sawyer served in the Kansas House he had the reputation of working across party lines to get things done. During his 18 years of public service, he served in several leadership positions including House Majority Leader and House Minority Leader. He worked hard to improve the lives of Kansas families.
Among his many accomplishments: He worked to cut our property taxes in Wichita by 29% in 1992, He worked with Governor Graves to cut car taxes in half over 5 years and to provide a Homestead Property Tax exemption for Homeowners, He led the charge to improve our governmental ethics laws in Kansas, to re-write our school finance formula to improve our children's education, to stop the outsourcing of state jobs to India and much, much more. When He served as House Majority Leader in 1992, newspapers across Kansas hailed it as one of the most productive sessions in Kansas history.
Tom Sawyer is a problem solver. Tom Sawyer works to find solutions. He doesn't believe in playing politics. He works hard to improve the lives of everyday Kansans. That is what we need today more than ever in the Kansas House. We need leaders like Tom Sawyer.