‘Family man’ joins local House race
For a man of 35 years of age, Anthony Brown will bring many and varied life experiences to his race for the 38th District Kansas House seat.
The Eudora Republican is an ex-Marine who served in the first Gulf War. He is a former teacher who now makes his living as a union carpenter.
Brown said he would lean on all those experiences in Topeka but added they would take a backseat to a basic life experience.
"I will vote everything family first as far as how it affects families in the district," the father of five said. "That's where I'm coming from."
Retired executive Tom Marsh announced his bid for district GOP nomination earlier this month after incumbent Rob Boyer filed to run against fellow Olathe Republican Kay O'Connor in the 9th Kansas Senate District.
The family focus would define his candidacy against a man with whom Brown said he seemed to share many views. The district that includes all of Eudora and De Soto as well as parts of western Shawnee and Lenexa, northwestern Olathe, and east Lawrence was filling with young families who should identify with his campaign, he said.
With his background in education -- he worked with at-risk students and taught social studies at Atchison County Community High School in Effingham -- Brown had a good grasp of the state's school finance system, he said.
"I would like at sometime to be a player in eudcation as a member of the (House) Education Committee," he said.
Brown left teaching when he and his wife, Susan, decided she would leave her job as a manager at a Kansas City bank because they felt "we weren't raising our baby." Needing more household income, Brown, who worked his way through Emporia State as a carpenter, first managed a Lawrence apartment complex through final construction and opening before starting work as a union carpenter.
The experience brought home the need to adequately finance education so that school districts can retain quality teachers, but not to the point of causing hardships to families, Brown said.
"My family works on a tight budget," he said. "I think the state of Kansas should be required to maintain a strict legislative budget just as young families do."
Brown said he suspected classroom education spending could be increased with more streamlining on the administrative level.
His interest was in growing the tax base, not increasing taxes, Brown said. Like Boyer, he said he was excited about the possibility of attracting life-science and high-technology industries to the Kansas Highway 10 corridor that increase the tax base and provide high paying jobs.
"I drive K-10 everyday," he said. "With a center of learning on one end and Kansas City on the other, I think we have a golden opportunity."
Unlike many GOP primaries, abortion won't separate the candidates. Marsh and Brown are pro-life.
Brown said he assumed he would be outspent in the primary campaign, but said he would not be outworked. His goal was to get acquainted with voters through door-to-door campaigning.
"I have a lot of personal energy," he said. "I promise I will work my tail off.
"I'm getting a lot of good support from people who have been through this before."