Friday, January 13, 2006


Possible Opposition Candidates to Face Willard

The Hutchinson News reports that, two Reno County Republicans are weighing a possible bid for the Kansas State Board of Education's District 7 seat now held by right-winger Ken Willard.

One potential candidate, Hutchinson attorney Kenneth Peirce, expressed concern to Hutchinson News reporter Mary Clarkin about the evolution decision and the hiring of Corkins, an advocate for school vouchers that would allow public tax dollars to follow students to private schools.

Peirce told Clarkin that prior to his appointment, Corkins wrote a K-12 Finance Study for the Kansas Public Policy Institute that stated, in part: "Excellence will not result from infusing more tax dollars into the traditional public system."

"That really upsets me," Peirce said.

The other candidate who has expressed interest in running is Darrell Pankratz, a former teacher and high school administrator in Ulysses who is in his 14th year as an elected member of the Hutchinson Community College Board of Trustees.

Pankratz told Clarkin it was "a little premature" to describe his views on board decisions, but he said he certainly was aware of the controversy surrounding the board.

If he ran and won, reports Clarkin, Pankratz said, his approach would be to "try to be as commonsensical as you can be about it."


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