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Kansas State Senate District 21

The Kansas Senate is the upper house of the Kansas Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. State of Kansas. It is composed of 40 senators representing an equal amount of districts, each with a population of at least 60,000 inhabitants. Members of the Senate are elected to a four-year term. There is no limit to the number of terms that a senator may serve.

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  • Candidate picture

    Tom Bickimer
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Dinah Sykes
    (Dem)

Biographical Information

With all of the issues facing Kansas brought about by the COVID-19 virus, what would be your first priority?

Would you support overturning the SAFE Act that was put into place creating barriers to voting by Kansans? What changes to Kansas election laws and voting systems would you support? Please explain why you would support those changes.

What is your position on expanding Medicaid? Why? What would you propose to ensure health care availability in rural areas?

What is your position on gun control and the issue of gun violence? What, if any, changes would you propose to current laws?

How can changes be made to current House and Senate rules that allow for Chamber Leaders to control Committee leadership?

Will you support changing the House and Senate rules to allow a transparent system for determining which proposed bills are heard, debated and voted on? If not, why not?

Issues with DCF and foster care, plus antiquated computer systems in the Departments of Labor and Education have made news. Do you feel that our current agencies are funded at a level that they can carry out their missions? If yes, what is the problem? If no, how can it be addressed?

How can Legislators address the issues of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Kansas?

In the current politically-polarized environment, how can Senators and Representatives work together to govern Kansas?

New legislative districts are drawn by the Legislature during the second year following the Census (2012, 2022, etc.) Would you vote in favor of an amendment that would create an impartial committee to draw the new legislative districts in Kansas?

Personal Biography See campaign website
Campaign Web Site http://tombickimer.com
Education BS in business administration
Community/Public Service See campaign website
The economic impact to the State’s budget will be the first order of business for those legislators we elect this fall.
I oppose any barriers to voting by Kansas citizens.
I support Medicaid expansion.
I support the Second Amendment and agree with the Supreme Court’s decision that law abiding citizens have a right to bear arms but that right is not unlimited.
Incoming legislators need to pick leadership receptive to amending current rules.
Yes
The State is still feeling the affects of the Brownback years. More funding and better management are required.
The recent Supreme Court decision has made that less of an issue.
By putting People before politics.
Finding and establishing an impartial committee would be difficult to do.
Personal Biography Dinah served the past four years in the Kansas Senate. Prior to that she ran her own business as a personal chef. She is a graduate of Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with minors in finance and economics. Dinah has been active in her community and has a passion for serving others.
Campaign Phone (913) 406-0053
Campaign Email dinah@dinahsykes.com
Campaign Web Site http://www.dinahsykes.com
Education BA Business Administration, Trevecca Nazarene University
Community/Public Service PTA treasurer, PTA president, Kansas Children's Cabinet, Lenexa Rotary
Address 10227 Theden Circle Lenexa, KS 66220
During the COVID-19 pandemic, our first focus must be on the health and safety of Kansans. That said, we must realize the way that health and safety depends not only on physical health, but also on a strong economy. To that end, we must continue to work with Governor’s Kelly’s administration to craft a careful, thorough, and transparent plan for our path to economic recovery.
Yes, I would support overturning the SAFE Act. I was a co-sponsor of SB43 (Same-day voter registration bill) and am in support of increasing citizen participation in our elections. We need to continue to educate voters on the issues that can cause problems with voting and should look at the possibilities of automatic voter registration moving registration from an “opt-in” to an “opt-out” when Kanasan’s get drivers licenses (assuming they are eligible voters). We know that democracy is stronger when more people participate, and this common sense legislation would help increase citizen participation.
I have been a strong supporter of expanding Medicaid and led the charge multiple times in the Senate to consider this issue. Medicaid expansion will bring our tax dollars back to Kansas, help eliminate the gap of working Kansans not able to afford health coverage, and help our rural communities by giving them the healthcare options they need.
As an endorsed candidate from Mom’s Demand Action I support common sense gun legislation. I introduced SB 415 this past session that would put in place a procedure for the relinquishment of guns from convicted domestic violence abusers. I also support red flag laws.
Education, Education, Education! The system is set up to keep those in power in power. Newly elected members must be educated on the importance of these rules. Voting on the rules is the first vote an elected makes and there is no education about what rules are and how they impact what happens. Elections matter. We need leaders who trust the process rather than manipulating the rules to fit their narrow agenda.
Yes. In school we learned that legislation moved through the system based on the merit of ideas. Sadly, we often see that legislation now moves based on the special interests who are for or against legislation. We also must hold our elected officials to a higher standard so that they are educating constituents instead of using propaganda to insight fear into constituents.
Funding is part of the problem, but not the whole problem. For too long, we looked only at the short term costs of decisions. That short-term focus has led to poor strategy for IT systems. We must look at the real costs to overcome the past lack of strategic direction. I’m encouraged that Secretary Burns-Wallace is making positive steps to fix these issues. The legislature must partner with the Department of Administration to deliver the services Kansans need safely, reliably and resiliently. While fixing these problems may have near-term costs, the long-term costs associated with continuing to follow the ways past administrations have dealt with IT will leave the state unable to serve our citizens and compete in the future. We must work smarter.
The first step is considering the issues that lead us to where we are today. For instance, the way the legislature works means many Kansans cannot afford to run or serve. When voices are unheard or when legislators feel they can ignore certain segments of our state, we have serious problems. Second, we must look at ways that we can address the lingering effects of systemic racism in our country. We must continue to prioritize educational equity to ensure that all Kansans regardless of race or socio-economic situation have every opportunity to succeed. Further, we need to begin considering how legislation will affect different groups to look for possible unintended consequences. Finally, we must recognize the need for a long-term commitment to making sustained change.
During my time in the legislature I’ve done my best to build relationships with legislators regardless of policy positions. Those relationships can help us see possibilities we might not otherwise consider. I formed a bi-partisan early childhood caucus to find ways to work together to improve the lives of our youngest Kansans. Frankly, both chambers need new leaders who don’t believe that things must be done their way or no way.
Yes