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Ellis grad wants spot on Senate





Patrick Wiesner, a former certified public accountant, doesn't like the look of the numbers facing the country.

That's why Wiesner, who grew up in Ellis, is running for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Pat Roberts.

"I want to work on changing some federal law and some federal policy that I just don't like, that's going on," Wiesner said.

Wiesner, 58, ran for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate four years ago. He lost in the primary for the seat, which eventually was won by Republican Jerry Moran.

Wiesner said he learned some lessons from that Senate bid.

"You've got to get into it early and have your speeches prepared," he said. "Be ready to talk to the public in plain, simple English. And talk to them about things that are important to them."

Wiesner said Roberts -- who was a Congressman before winning a Senate seat -- is part of what's wrong with Washington.

"All of the incumbents right now -- both Democrats and Republicans -- have shown no interest or no capacity or no desire to get their arms around federal spending and stop us from going further into debt," Wiesner said. "Everybody wins in Washington. Everybody hires a lobbyist. Somehow they get language put into legislation. Lobbyists are worth what they're paid. Their clients get federal contracts, federal dollars."

That doesn't sit well with Wiesner, one of eight children who grew up on the family farm.

"I grew up in western Kansas," he said. "We value hard work; we value fiscal responsibility; we want to pay our debts; we don't want to run up bills we can't pay.

"For us as a country to continually increase our federal debt every year, and dumping it on our children and grandchildren, is something that is inconsistent with Kansas values."

Wiesner, who lives in Lawrence, is divorced and has two children. He graduated from Ellis High School in 1974. He earned an associate's degree from Colby Community College and graduated from Fort Hays State University with degrees in accounting and chemistry. He was a CPA for six years before graduating from law school at the University of Kansas.

Fourteen years ago, Wiesner started his law practice in Overland Park -- Wiesner & Frackowiak LLC -- which specializes in tax and bankruptcy law. He announced his decision to run for public office again earlier this month. It didn't come easy.

"I thought about it a lot," he said.

Wiesner has one opponent in the Aug. 5 Democratic primary, Chad Taylor, the district attorney of Shawnee County. Herbert Hoover was president the last time a Democrat won a Senate seat in Kansas in 1932.

"Kansas is ready for a change," Wiesner said. "A Democrat can win a statewide Senate election."