LaPolice gunning for Huelskamp's seat
By MATTHEW KENWRIGHT
A veteran of the military and the classroom is challenging Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, in the Aug. 5 Republican primary for Congress.
Alan LaPolice, who lives in Clyde and works on his father's dairy farm, said he visited Hays last week to meet with community leaders to understand the area's needs. LaPolice spoke with representatives from Fort Hays State University, Hays Area Chamber of Commerce, Ellis County Coalition for Economic Development, Hays Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development office.
Economic development, education, water rights, tourism, transportation and the airport were among the topics they discussed.
LaPolice said he sought someone to unseat Huelskamp before he decided to pursue it himself. The representative is unable to legislate effectively, and he pushed the government towards shutting down and the fiscal cliff, LaPolice said.
"I feel, specifically, that his inability to negotiate with even members of his own party is a sore spot for me," LaPolice said.
LaPolice also criticized Huelskamp for being removed from the House Committee on Agriculture.
"The No. 1 thing with the campaign is that Kansas needs a voice on the ag committee," LaPolice said.
Josh Bell, Huelskamp's campaign spokesman, said the representative understands the values of Kansans.
"Huelskamp remains a strong advocate for his constituents in the Big First and has emerged as a top conservative leader in Washington, fighting for Kansas values, even if it means challenging party insiders and special interests inside the Beltway," Bell said. "His principle stands against wasteful government spending, out-of-control debt and runaway over-regulation -- and for traditional marriage, protection of the unborn and our rural way of life has earned him strong continued support at home, where it matters."
LaPolice said he is an advocate for repealing the Affordable Care Act and allowing states to determine what system they use.
"Right now, there's no buy-in to Obamacare. People don't like the concept of a mandate. They don't like the concept of a one size fits all," LaPolice said. "So how about a 50 size? Each state, with their own state legislature and their own executive branch can determine what that's going to be."
His health care plan also includes an idea that would allow military veterans and their families to seek care at any clinic at Veterans Affairs' rates. The hospital would charge the patient's local VA, and the VA would bill the patient.
LaPolice also believes each state should determine their stance on social issues without federal intervention.
Education is another core component of his bid for Congress. LaPolice wants to remove federal mandates such as Common Core and help institutions of higher education enhance their ability to perform, and he also wants to expand community college's vocational classes.
"I do want to decrease the number of people living on public assistance and federal assistance by increasing their viability in the workforce," he said.
LaPolice was an English teacher for 10 years, and he spent four years as a principal at an at-risk high school in Los Angeles. The candidate also was a superintendent for a school district in rural California before he returned to Kansas.
He served in the U.S. Army during the Gulf War in the Third Infantry Division. LaPolice drove a Bradley infantry-fighting vehicle before he was promoted to gunner.
More information about his campaign can be found at www.true-conservative.org.