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Candidate touts judicial experience

News editor

John Barker (R-Abilene) has a lot of experience listening to people and considering different sides of an issue, and he wants to put those skills to use as the 70th District’s representative in the Kansas House of Representatives.

Barker was a district judge in the 8th Judicial District (covering Marion, Dickinson, Morris, and Geary counties) for 25 years until he retired in April.

“I’m accustomed to listening to both sides,” he said last week.

He was a candidate in the 68th District before redistricting. He chose to run because he was bothered by the voting history of that district’s incumbent, Tom Moxley, in particular a vote in favor of granting a property tax exemption for the Keystone XL oil pipeline. When redistricting moved Dickinson County into the 70th District, Barker chose to stay in the race.

His top priorities are establishing policies that encourage hiring and ensuring the success of public education.

Youth issues are important to Barker. During his time as a judge, he served on judicial committees aimed at reducing drug and alcohol use by minors, and he teaches hunter safety.

If he is elected, he plans to make regular trips to Marion County to hear voters’ concerns.

“I will be here,” Barker said. “I will be in Marion County at least, if not more than, once a month.”

Barker served in the U.S. Army for 10 years. He and his wife, April, have a small cattle ranch. They have two children.

Last modified July 2, 2012

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