Republican governor candidate Wink Hartman made a brief stop in Pratt to visit with a couple of families at Rick's Restaurant.
Getting spending under control and creating new jobs for Kansas are key goals for Republican governor candidate Wink Hartman. Hartman made a brief stopover in Pratt July 13 to discus issues with the Gilpin and Harbert families.
Hartman brings a broad range of experience to his governor race. Hartman, a political outsider, said he learned early on in life how to turn a profit and get a return on his investment. He paid for his own college education and owns several companies including Hartman Oil, several oil field businesses, Hartman Arena, several Jimmy's Egg restaurants and other businesses.
Hartman said there are several areas that need to be addressed. The tax increase is kicking the middle class and billfolds and purses are thinner so work needs to be done there.
When the tax policy was introduced it reduced tax revenues but the state just kept on spending. Kansas has to quit wasteful spending and make better use of its revenue.
To help with revenue, Kansas needs more jobs and there needs to be more job retention. Without job retention, there is nothing to build new jobs on.
"We need to look to job retention," Hartman said.
Hartman said politicians don't create jobs but through his business dealings, he helped create thousands of jobs for Kansans. As a businessman, there is nothing wrong with profit and Kansas needs to focus on investments in our businesses.
In education, Hartman is concerned that funds from the education bill will be absorbed by management and would not get to the students in the classroom.
Teacher accountability is a high priority and teachers should receive pay based on their production.
"Teacher accountability is high on my list," Hartman said. "In my world, automatic raises don't exist. Teachers have to be accountable."
Hartman is a big supporter of vocational technology. Students not only learn work and building skills but it helps develop math and science skills that become trade skills.
He would like to see changes in the math curriculum. When his granddaughter comes home from school and basic math teaches that two plus two doesn't equal four then something needs to be done. He also wants parents to have the choice where to send their children to school rather than have an address decide where they attend.
The Kansas Supreme Court is considering the Gannon Case that will determine if Kansas schools are adequately funded. Hartman doesn't know how the court will decide but they need to get something done quickly so parents and children can get on with their lives.
Hartman decided to run for governor because he wants to leave a better place than where he arrived. He is a Kansan and wants his children and grandchildren to have the same opportunities he had.
But that isn't going to happen if Kansas continues the way it is now. If spending isn't controlled, the state will go backwards.
"We are off track big time," Hartman said.
It's a bad situation when a person can get a pay raise and have less take home pay because of higher taxes.
Topeka needs strong leadership to help the state get going again. Things got out of hand during the last legislative session. Some things got done at the last minute and others didn't get done at all, Hartman said.
Hartman is married to Libba and they have thee children, two step children, seven grandsons and one granddaughter. The live on a farm and have a variety of animals including camels, llamas, longhorn steers, buffalo, Watusi cattle (very big horns), miniature donkeys, horses and a zebra plus two cats and three dogs.
He graduated from Wichita State University with a business degree and a double major in marketing and economics.