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James Beard running for Kansas District 1

Judd Weil-News Director judd.rmmedia@gmail.com


[FINNEY COUNTY, Kan.]


James Beard, a teacher from Garden City, Kan., is running for the U.S. House of Representatives to represent Kansas District 1, or Kansas Big First, in the 2022 primary.


Beard is one of five southwest Kansas people running in the 2022 primary.


When asked why he was running, Beard said he felt a responsibility to it.


“From a very young age I was raised to put service to others before myself and try to leave behind a community better than the one I walked into,” said Beard. “I was raised by military family so I try to do that all over.


Beard also cited his reason for running as his reason why he received his post-high school education in Hays, Kan. to become a teacher and why he moved to Garden City. Beard has been a teacher for ten years.


Beard stated he is running because views the current congress as only benefiting party leadership and not Kansas citizens.


“So I want to go to congress, so I can do its job and actually represent the people who they’re meant to represent,” said Beard.


Beard stated the right to repair as one of his platform issues, believing everyone has the right to repair hardware or devices, from personal phones to agricultural tech, they have purchased without having to jump through the hoops of litigation brought on by patent-holding companies or waiting days for a technician.


Beard said he would also support the end of the federal prohibition on marijuana as a means to give producers a new cash crop to invest in, such as industrial hemp.


“It will allow new tax revenue streams for states,” said Beard. “New jobs would open up in refining industrial hemp to be used as a common good.”


As an educator, Beard stated he is always in favor of strengthening and reinvesting in the public education system.


Beard stated he feels qualified to run for office because his interest is in working for the people of the Big First, and not his donors.


Beard stated that while he has not experienced “everything,” that just makes him open to the advice of others in certain areas of representing people should they elect him.


When asked how he would approach the divide of running as Democrat in a mostly Republican state and how he plans to represent people should he encounter the divide, Beard disregarded that he is registered as a Democrat.


“It’s just a letter after my name as far as I’m concerned,” said Beard. “Whether it's a “D,” whether it's an “R,” and it's just a letter after everyone else’s name.


“I’m going to work with whoever I can, regardless of party, to make Kansas better, and to make America a better place. That’s just a letter after my name, that doesn’t mean much.”


When talking about the importance of voting, Beard stated all politics are local, starting from the bottom up.


He believes the closer in proximity someone is to the candidate they are voting for, the more impact they are going to have on their constituents.


He recognized it is hard to get people to vote, using his native Garden City’s last odd year election as an example, claiming below 20% went and voted.


Beard said it is a matter of more fervent engagement with communities.


Advance voting is ongoing until August 1. Election Day is Tuesday, August 2, with polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.