Although the primary for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Congress is still ten months away, don’t tell that to Dr. Roger Marshall of Great Bend. Marshall, who is hard at work to replace sitting U.S. Congressman Tim Huelskamp as the standard-bearer for the GOP in next year’s general election, made yet another swing through north central Kansas last week, making at least nine campaign visits there since March.
Marshall, a veteran of the U.S. Army Reserve and practicing ob-gyn in Great Bend, is the current president of the Barton County Medical Society, Vice Chairman of the Board of Farmers Bank and Trust, former district governor for Rotary, was appointed by the Governor of Kansas to serve as Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism commissioner, and serves on the State of Kansas Ecotourism committee.
Earning his undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Kansas State University before graduating from the University of Kansas School of Medicine, after completing his residency, Dr. Marshall moved to Great Bend in 1991. Since that time, his practice has delivered over 6,000 babies.
During a campaign stopover in Phillipsburg last week, Marshall was accompanied by his wife of over 32 years, Laina, and one of his four children, Victor, and spent several hours at a meet and greet hosted by Denis and Sue Miller in their Phillipsburg home. Denis Miller is best-known by locals as being a partner in the north central Kansas-based accounting firm Mapes and Miller, as well as for being the chair of the Fort Hays State University Foundation Board of Trustees.
During Roger Marshall’s campaign visit to Phillipsburg last week, he initially mingled with those who stopped by to visit with him one-on-one before addressing the group as a whole and then answering their questions.
“I thought I might start by sharing a bit of my campaign update,” he said. “We’ve been in 53 communities and have sat down and had conversations literally with several thousand people--conversations just like this.
“I spend most of my time listening to people, learning what’s on their mind and what the issues are. I’m really grateful for the warm welcome I have received everywhere.
“I feel genuinely welcomed by people. People that I’ve met a month ago, I’ll come back and they’ve got five people and we’ll sit down and have dinner together. I come back a month later and there’s twenty people. You know you’re doing the right thing when God keeps opening door after door after door, as opposed to putting ‘no’ signs in front of you.
“I feel very very comfortable with the campaign and where it’s going right now, and I’m gaining steam. I would share with you that I’m a Reagan Republican. I’m focused on making a smaller federal government that’s not impacting our economy so much and continue to work towards a strong military. Those are my two basic principles.
“Getting into specifics, I would like to talk about the Clean Air Act that Obama is wanting to expand now.
“Basically what he’d like to do is the same thing that he’s done with the Waters of the U.S. Act. He’d like to expand a law that has been around for years.
“With the Waters of the U.S. Act what he wants to do is instead of regulating 35,000 miles of water, he wants to regulate 170,000 miles of water. They’ve actually expanded that law, that law right now is actually happening. We’re involved in a lawsuit that’s allowing us to get a reprieve on it, so I hope you aren’t being hasseled with it yet on your farms and ranches in Phillips County.
“Regarding the Clean Air Act, what it’s talking about is the amount of regulation on the pollutants we can put out. About 70 percent of the energy from our state is generated by coal, and our ozone is a lot better today than it was 20 years ago--it’s measurably better, it’s measureably improved. Despite that, Obama wants to regulate it even more.
“To sum it up, he wants us to spend this much money to improve it, and the impact on the environment will be minimal. Here’s my concern--it’s going to drive up the energy cost 20 percent when it’s all said and done.
“That’s not only going to impact big business, even more it’s going to actually impact single moms at home or patients I take care of. Those are the people who are really going to be impacted if their energy bill goes up 20 percent.
“I’m all for clean air and all for clean streams but you need to use some common sense as well. Meanwhile, China’s bringing on a new power plant every ten days.
“China’s accounting for more carbon emissions than the rest of us, and India’s right behind them now. China gives us a lot of lip service that they’re going to make their improvements, but I guarantee you we’re at a disadvantage economically.
“So I think it’s one more example of the government overreaching it’s bounds, and we need a Congressperson who can look some of these people in the eye and say ‘wait a second, do you understand what this is doing?’ Sure I want clean air, but we need to be reasonable about this.
“Taking that a bit further talking about that, I think Kansas has a great opportunity since we do have all these energy sources here that we can rely upon--whether it’s wind energy and solar, of course we have gas and oil, and I can’t help but mention ethanol and I’m very excited about the renewable diesel that you’re beginning to make here in Phillipsburg.
“I think Kansas has a great opportunity with energy, and as Isit down with utility companies who are really reaching out to us, their concern is ‘how can we transport energy out of here.’
“We may have more energy than Kansas needs and that can be a product that we export. Instead of car highways, we need to be working on some sort of energy highway to help us transport some of this energy out of the state. And Ithink that is how we grow our economy.
“Everywhere I go people want to talk about school finance. A stronger economy would help school finance an awful lot. If elected I’ll be going to Washington, and I can’t fix all the problems back in Topeka but we can sure grow our economy and as our economy grows there’ll be more money to be spent in all the right places.”
At this point, Marshall concluded his preliminary remarks by saying “I think I’ll close there and open it up for questions. I’d again like to say thanks for coming tonight--I’m excited to be back in Phillipsburg. I always enjoy coming, and feel welcomed here as well. I’ll be happy to talk about any particular issues people have, or any concerns, and listen.”
The following subjects then came up--
That’s a hot topic. I think there’s ten Republican candidates I can work with. In general I would like someone with executive experience. I really feel burned by a Senator who’s now the president who never had any executive experience. But I really feel I can work with all of the candidates. I’m ready for a change, and a big change.
President Lincoln was famous at taking people who were his foes and putting them in his cabinet. Whoever wins this time, I see some of the other candidates that would make a good Attorney General, there’s a candidate who would make a good Surgeon General.
I think she’s much more vulnerable than I thought she would be. Two months ago people wondered if we had a candidate who could beat her. Thank goodness she’s helping us a lot. The other one is even left of her, and I think they are very beatable.
It depends on who the new leader’s going to be. We need somebody who is going to unite us. I think Speaker Boehner felt like he had become the problem rather than solving problems.
To me the focus is getting a person who can unite all Republicans to work together for the good of the country. Leaders can rise; we’ve all seen it happen in our communities, in our churches, in our clubs. Leaders will rise to the occasion.
Our president is the most devisive person I’ve seen in my life so Ithink a new president is going to help a lot. It’s up to the leaders to set the tone. President Reagan had a big tent, he was able to get us to put our differences aside, he was able to unite us. With Reagan, before he took office just 12 percent of the country thought we were going in the right direction and he changed that, so with new leaders I think there’s a great chance. That’s the difference between two years ago when I was traveling across the state and now. People are no longer saying we can’t fix it; people are saying now we have to fix it. I feel like the mouse is now backed into the corner, and people are saying we have to fight now, we’ve had enough. It’s broken enough that I think the average person is going to stand up and say let’s fix this.
Story Courtesy of the Phillips County Review