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The newspaper welcomes brief letters (generally no longer than 400 words) that express an opinion on a currently newsworthy topic. The writer’s contact information must be included for verification. Letters that contain defamatory comments, open letters, third-party letters, letters sent to more than one publication, and letters that would more appropriately be advertisements, including Cards of Thanks, are unlikely to be published. One letter generally is allowed per writer per calendar month.

Gerrymandered

To the editor:

Several weeks ago, after Scott Hill filed to run as Republican in the 70th District for the Kansas House of Representatives, Scott and his wife, Lynette, went to incumbent John Barker’s office in Topeka to introduce themselves.

Shortly after, John and his committee moved the northern 70th District line a few miles south to exclude Scott Hill’s farm home from the district, preventing Scott from being a challenger in this year’s election.

Why cut out a couple townships in northern Dickinson County and replace them with a couple of townships in McPherson County? Smells like Washington politics has come to central Kansas.

We’ve known the Hills for years, especially since the 2016 tornado that chewed its way across Dickinson County, including our farm home.

Scott and Lynette were among the first here the night of May 25 and came back to help at our place and others for weeks. They lent equipment to us and many others for months to help us re-build.

Since then, we’ve worked together with the Hills at Salina Rescue Mission, installed handicapped ramps and bathrooms in homes, and helped many local families that were in desperate need for housing and home improvements.

Scott and Lynette have the highest level of generosity, sacrifice, integrity, traditional family values, and a passion for agricultural and rural businesses.

Besides farming in our community for decades, Scott earned a Ph.D. from Kansas State University in cattle reproductive physiology and has served on the state Board of Education.

Scott and Lynette teach and mentor multiple groups and individuals through their church and other organizations.

As a politician, John may go after those who are shining a light on this topic, or John may say, “it wasn’t me,” or “I didn’t even know about it,” or “it was the committee” (which he is on), or “this happens every 10 years, so it’s no big deal,” or a dozen other excuses to not take responsibility.

John is a ranking member in Topeka and on the re-districting committee. He easily could have said no to the 70th District line change because his integrity would be seriously questioned.

Instead, John supported the 70th District northern boundary line change that cut his competition out of the 70th District.

This is dirty DC politics. The Hills and the people of the 70th District deserve better.

Look at the maps and the series of events. Decide for yourself. Something in Topeka smells bad. It is time for a change.

James and Sherri Hedstrom,
rural Abilene

Last modified April 6, 2022

 

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