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Make the right choice: send Patrick Schmidt to Congress. 

Brock Willard managing editor 

Nov. 8 is the date of the midterm elections where elected officials are selected. A slew of offices are up for selection: state representative and senator, a US Senator, and a choice we here in Pittsburg get to help make, the Representative for Kansas’ 2nd Congressional District. This time around, we have the option of retaining our current Representative Jake LaTurner or choosing a new path with Patrick Schmidt. It is my opinion that he is better equipped than LaTurner to represent us accurately and faithfully. 

The first reason I believe that Schmidt is the right choice for our district is that he is a veteran. He understands what is needed to serve armed service members, both active and discharged. He understands the struggles that veterans go through every day once they’ve left the battlefield. He knows that the people who are held up as heroes during their service are often thrown away as collateral damage of the military-industrial complex. LaTurner simply does not. LaTurner, despite being in Congress for two years at this point has only sought to undermine the health and safety of Americans by voting against the certification of the 2020 Presidential election, even after the attack on the Capitol. Schmidt understands that this was an attack on the very core of the United States. LaTurner thought it was just dandy all because it pleased Donald Trump. 

Secondly, Schmidt knows what it’s like to work for a living, to slave away against the ravages of capitalism. LaTurner absolutely does not. He ran for office right out of college. He has never held a job after that election that was not on the taxpayer dime. As he’s proven since being in office, he technically didn’t even have to show up to work. There’s been numerous occasions during his time in Congress where he’s just neglected to show up for work. If you work a normal job, if you don’t show up you get fired, not paid a salary and then some. LaTurner has also skimped out on debates with Schmidt. If he can’t even show up for a debate (and an opportunity to meet with constituents), how can we possibly expect him to show up for work and serve us in Congress? 

The last but certainly not the least reason is that Schmidt recognizes the human rights struggles faced by LGBTQ people every day and LaTurner absolutely does not. He has played into the culture war rhetoric that the rest of the Republican Party has and it is getting people killed. He, like the rest of the Republican Party at large, refuses to acknowledge the scientific realities that we now understand religion is not provable or a proper way to organize a sufficiently advanced society and the more basic truths that transgender people are who they say they are. 

Schmidt is clearly the right choice if we want a Representative who will represent everyone in the district, not just the ones who can afford a ticket to a fancy fundraiser. We need a Representative that will not say he is fighting for you while voting against policies that help you. Make the right choice. Send Patrick Schmidt to Congress. 

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