Wednesday, July 30, 2014

College student challenging Jones

By DYLAN LYSEN, Herald Staff Writer | 6/2/2014

Miranda Rickel was inspired by family.

The Kansas State University junior entered the political realm this week, filing as a Democrat to challenge Republican incumbent Kevin Jones, Wellsville, in the race for Kansas House District 5. Jones was a elected to the position in 2012.

Miranda Rickel was inspired by family.

The Kansas State University junior entered the political realm this week, filing as a Democrat to challenge Republican incumbent Kevin Jones, Wellsville, in the race for Kansas House District 5. Jones was a elected to the position in 2012.

Rickel, Garnett, said her father and older brother led by example, showing her the need to serve her community. Cleon Rickel, an Anderson County school district board member, and Andrew Rickel, who ran for the Kansas Senate in 2008 and formerly served as Kansas Young Democrats president, drew her into politics, she said.

“Both of them are a huge inspiration to me,” she said.

Although Miranda Rickel lacks political experience on the state level, she served on a model legislature in high school, she said. Her main issue to tackle in the state Legislature, if elected, is the lack of priority given to addressing climate change, she said.

“Our legislature needs to focus more on climate change issues that have occurred,” Rickel said. “It’s very rare that legislation will go through. They shot down [legislation] earlier in the spring, and I think we need to make that more of a priority.”

Rickel also wasn’t shy about criticism of the state’s tax cuts occurring without similar cuts to spending.

“As far as financial, I believe if we continue down our current path, Kansas could be facing a financial crisis in a year or two because of constant cuts to income taxes,” Rickel said. “Most of that just shifts back to property taxes, which is more of middle-class problem rather as opposed to corporation income taxes.”

Rickel is double majoring in criminology and psychology at K-State. When she graduates, she plans to pursue a career as a parole officer or a U.S. Marshal, she said. As a student, education funding also is a high priority for Rickel, she said.

“I just really want to get more involved and find ways to serve Kansas and America,” Rickel said.

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