Armando Hernandez

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

A Chanute native is challenging the current state House Representative for a seat in Topeka.

Armando Hernandez is challenging incumbent Kent Thompson in the Republican primary Tuesday for District 9 Kansas Representative. The winner will face Democrat Alana Cloutier in the general election.

Hernandez said he has wanted to do something since his eyes were opened by the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. He had always thought of running, and that goal solidified when he talked to people he had not seen in a while.

During the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, he has thought about people who have passed on.

He said one of his overall goals is to set an example of working together after a lot of tensions in government. One of the main issues is healthcare, and he also sees the impact of the pandemic on the state’s budget as a major issue.

Hernandez said this is the time to consider new ideas to bring in more revenue.

“If there’s a time we see we really need it, this is it,” he said, adding that the tax situation was already a problem.

“The virus certainly didn’t help,” Hernandez said.

He sees the state at a rebuilding point.

“We’re restarting in Kansas,” he said.

He wants to be better prepared for future emergencies, and to build a solid foundation for the next virus.

“I’m all about new ideas,” Hernandez said, and that Kansas could have been in the same situation as Oklahoma, but still had problems because it was not prepared.

He is one of five children born to Joe and Mickey Hernandez and graduated from Chanute High School in 1988. He is a former chiropractor and currently works as a computer service technician.

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