Thursday, December 18, 2014

Libertarians select gubernatorial challenger

By The Herald Staff | 4/28/2014

WICHITA — Think Sam Brownback hasn’t done enough to change the Kansas tax code?

A Wabaunsee County attorney who hopes to abolish state income tax completely was selected by the Kansas Libertarian Party as the group’s candidate for governor, according to the Associated Press.

WICHITA — Think Sam Brownback hasn’t done enough to change the Kansas tax code?

A Wabaunsee County attorney who hopes to abolish state income tax completely was selected by the Kansas Libertarian Party as the group’s candidate for governor, according to the Associated Press.

Keen Umbehr, 55, Alma, defeated Tresa McAlhaney, Bonner Springs, during the party’s nomination convention Saturday in Wichita. Umberh’s chose his son to run as lieutenant governor.

“We’re all in,” Umbehr said, who closed his law practice last month to campaign full time, according to the Wichita Eagle.

Dr. Josh Umbehr, Keen’s son, is a family physician in Wichita and founder of Atlas MD, where patients pay a flat monthly fee. Umbehr doesn’t accept health insurance, according to the Associated Press, and patients see him and get many routine procedures done in the office for no extra charge. Josh Umbehr’s role is to focus on health care, he said.While the ticket allows for Umberh to challenge incumbent Republican Brownback and likely Democrat nominee House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, the party is focused on receiving enough votes to consider itself a major party.

If Keen Umbehr’s campaign receives 5 percent of the vote in the gubernatorial election, the Libertarian Party would move up from minor-party status to major-party status. The move would allow the party to have primary elections like the Republican and Democratic parties.

Keen Umbehr said his bid for governor focuses on four main issues: repeal of state income tax, increasing penalties to government agencies that violate the Kansas Open Meetings Act and the Kansas Open Records Act, a change in health care policy and educational choice.

Other issues approved by party members in their platform include legalizing hemp cultivation as a farm crop, abolishing the death penalty, and creating a system for voter-sponsored initiatives and referendums at the statewide level.

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