WELLSVILLE — Mark Samsel, R-Wellsville, filed for re-election to the Kansas House District 5 seat.
Samsel is finishing his first term in the Kansas Legislature. In 2018, he was elected by voters throughout Anderson, Franklin, Linn and Miami counties.
"It’s an honor to serve our communities and to fight for our values and way of life at the state capitol in Topeka," Samsel said. "During these unprecedented times, incredible people across the district — from our health care workers and farmers to local businesses and families — are rising to the occasion. Our government must do the same. Leadership is crucial, and I’m confident that rural Kansas will once again stand up and show our strength to help guide our entire state."
Samsel pointed to a number of things he worked on during the past two legislative sessions:
• Promoting a fairer and more efficient state and county tax system that reduces the burden on rural Kansans, seniors, veterans, farmers and working families, which includes relief for property taxes and the sales tax on food, and eliminating the "tax lid" that inadvertently caused higher taxes.
• Passing a new 10-year transportation and broadband plan, including expanded and safer highways and more jobs throughout the district.
• Increasing community-based mental health resources and fighting for mental health parity, as well as funding for state employees, lifting the moratorium at Osawatomie State Hospital, and making mental health services more available when needed.
• Working regularly with the five school superintendents and educators in the district to provide stable funding and predictable planning for the state’s children and schools, as well as guidelines to better address bullying and mental health among students and communities.
• Modernizing state statutes to maintain a system of checks and balances that protects constitutional rights while maximizing public health and welfare, especially during times of declared emergency.
"Kansas will face extraordinary challenges in the years ahead," Samsel said. "In addition to economic and health challenges that just weeks ago no one could have predicted, we must be ready to protect our rural communities in the redistricting process. We need people we can trust to tell the truth, ask the tough questions, and most importantly, do the right thing, especially when it’s not convenient or popular.
"We must elect leaders with conservative roots planted firmly in family farms and rural Kansas with the backbone and work ethic of our farmers. Now is not the time to send politicians to Topeka who are more concerned about their own careers and currying favor with special interests than what’s best for their district."
In his first term, Samsel served on the Judiciary Committee, using his legal background and experience to help improve laws across the state. He also worked closely with business and community leaders throughout the district on many issues, including the education committee and the energy, utilities and telecommunications committee.
"This moment calls for no-nonsense, solutions-based leaders who will put the people of our district first," Samsel said. "Together, we have fought hard to stand up for what’s best for our families and communities, and I would be honored to continue our progress during these challenging times."
Samsel encourages residents to contact him with ideas, questions or concerns. His voting record, which he said he will openly discuss, is available at www.kslegislature.org.
Samsel also encourages residents to assist county clerks during this uncertain time by requesting an advance ballot that can be mailed in. All voters may request a ballot online at ksvotes.org or by calling the county clerk’s office for assistance.