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Senatorial candidate Hamilton stops in Pratt

Courtney Blankenship
Special to the Tribune
Bob Hamilton from Johnson County, Kansas stopped at the Pratt Public LIbrary on Thursday as he campaigned in the area, running for a seat on the U.S. Senate.

U.S. senatorial candidate, Bob Hamilton, stopped in Pratt on Thursday, June 18 to meet people while on the campaign trail and to discuss his policy stances and goals for office if elected.

Hamilton started his own plumbing business in 1983 with his wife, Teresa, after learning skills of the trade from his father while growing up.

Over the years, the business has continued to grow, now employing over 160 people in the Kansas City area. Hamilton said he believes his business background plays into the needs of the country at this time.

“President Trump, I think, has been great for our economy,” Hamilton said. “It’s been the best economy that I’ve ever seen in my entire lifetime and it’s because we have somebody that’s coming from a business perspective. He wasn’t a politician-- he was an outsider, but he knows how to get the economy going.”

As a father of 12, Hamilton said he worries about the future of his children and wants to ensure that they grow up with opportunities, freedom, a country that ‘rewards self-responsibility,’ and ‘communities that are built on faith and family.’

Hamilton said he considers himself to be a true conservative, and among his policy stances, supports the ‘right to bear arms’ and healthcare that is based on free-market ideas. If elected, Hamilton said his top priorities will include rebuilding the economy, promoting ‘pro-life’ policies, and securing borders, among his other goals.

“I love what President Trump has been able to do by getting the conservative Supreme Court justices,” Hamilton said. “And when you’re a part of the Senate, the Senators vote on his appointees, so, I think that’s very important that we get a conservative up there that will vote for his conservative judges.”

In fixing the economy, Hamilton said he agrees with President Trump’s deregulation efforts.

“He’s gotten rid of 20 deregulations for every one regulation that is put in,” Hamilton said. “So, that’s what stifles the economy is the burdensome regulations that the government puts on companies so they can’t do anything--They tie their hands.”

In addition to advocating for less regulations and lower taxes, Hamilton said he also wants to support people who are entering careers in trade fields.

“My company could be way bigger than it is right now but we can’t find the people because there’s not enough people that I can get to work,” Hamilton said. “So, I also want to help with supporting the trades and getting people involved in trades because not all people need to be college bound. Some people are career bound, and then they don’t have all this college debt-- they can actually get into the trades and have a very high paying job and they don’t have to go to college.”

In discussing issues facing Kansans, Hamilton said it is important to obtain better infrastructure and internet in order to build up the rural areas.

“If we’re going to get people out to rural America and build up rural America, we’re going to have to get them into the 21st century and get broadband because with broadband, then we can also have telemedicine and that will allow more people to come out, because they can take care of their medical needs, and that would help quite a bit by-- let’s get the roads built so you can get there and then, let’s get the broadband there and telemedicine, and I think our economy will just explode if we do that.”

Another priority in Kansas, Hamilton said, involves supporting farmers and getting better trade deals with other countries so that tariffs can be taken off of grain and deals can be made fairly.

In dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, Hamilton said he believes the U.S. did the right thing in shutting the economy down in order to protect lives, but he said now it is time to open up and get people back to work.

“We can open up this economy and do it very safely by, you know, implementing these [safety] techniques, and we need to do that sooner rather than later,” Hamilton said. “Because, you know, we need to build this economy back up as soon as we can.”

Hamilton said he was in favor of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was passed by Congress but did not agree with some of the spending added to it.

“This money that is being spent on the [CARES] package is supposed to be for businesses that are hurting and people that are out of jobs and keeping people afloat for a while,” Hamilton said. “We don’t need all the extra spending that’s in there and that’s part of the reason, you know, I wish that we would’ve cut some extra spending that we’ve always done before this coronavirus and now we’ve added trillions more dollars to our debt, so we’re going to have to really focus on decreased spending.”

Hamilton said he believes the U.S. has learned a lot from this pandemic, and said that he, personally, has gained a new awareness of how many medical supplies are manufactured abroad rather than in the U.S.

“So, let’s get that manufacturing back and let’s get the drugs made back in the United States and all the PPE [personal protective] equipment so we can have it when we need it and we’re not held hostage to a foreign land,” Hamilton said.

In regard to reaching a bipartisanship in Congress, Hamilton said there is too much fighting currently and a new perspective is needed.

“We need an outsider that knows how to get things done and knows how to fix things,” Hamilton said. “And not professional politicians that that’s all they’re doing is playing to their constituents so they can get reelected.”

Hamilton said there are no special interest groups or PACS backing him, and he will be listening to the needs of Kansans.

“I’m raising my own money, I’m spending some of my own money, so I’m not tied to anybody,” Hamilton said. “So, I’m going to vote for the people of Kansas and what their feelings are to help Kansas, and that’s my primary goal.”