Virgil Peck

Tribune reporter Greg Lower is writing previews for candidates facing off in Tuesday’s primary election.

A former Kansas Legislator is challenging incumbent Dan Goddard for the District 15 Senate seat in Tuesday’s Republican primary.

“It’s an emotional roller coaster,” candidate Virgil Peck said. 

He said he feels good and has had a lot of support.

“Voters will have their say next Tuesday,” he said.

Peck served in the Kansas House of Representatives from 2005 to 2017, representing the 12th District and chairing the Transportation and Public Safety Budget committee. He was also formerly Republican Majority Caucus chair.

Peck ran unsuccessfully for Kansas Senate in 2016 when then-Sen. Jeff King announced he would not seek another term. Peck said the announcement did not give him enough time to prepare. Peck also ran unsuccessfully for the Kansas House in 2002 and the Kansas Senate in 2000.

He said his top legislative work was from two bills: one to increase the penalty for battery on a law enfo mandatory 3 1/2 years in prison if a person convicted of a crime involving a firearm is wearing a bulletproof vest.

“I was actually the point man,” Peck said.

He said he plans an aggressive agenda of five bills he wants to introduce in the first 40 days. One will be for term limits and another will require a statewide vote on tax increases, similar to legislation in Oklahoma and Missouri.

He also wants to follow Oklahoma in exempting disabled veterans from sales tax on food and other items. Peck also wants to eliminate or reduce benefits, particularly in-state tuition, for illegal aliens, and to freeze property taxes for senior citizens.

Peck said Goddard did not introduce any bills during his term.

“He’s too much of a yes-man,” Peck said.

He said he will not srcement officer from a misdemeanor to a felony; and the other to add aupport Medicaid expansion unless the state votes on an amendment to give the legislature the power to regulate abortion instead of the courts.

He said 47 percent of those who would be eligible are currently on private insurance, and he wants Medicaid expansion to carry a work requirement and have a deductible.

“It’s really a big topic,” he said. 

Peck said the state budget is in terrible condition because of the coronavirus and overspending. He said it will take a couple of years to get the budget under control.

He said US-169 should be four-lane from the Oklahoma state line to Kansas City, and the state needs to do a better job of funding infrastructure.

 

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