October 30, 2008
Written by Roy Graber
Winfield Daily Courier

Ed Trimmer is seeking his second full term as a state representative.

The Winfield Democrat has been out walking the streets of the communities within the 78th District in a grass-roots effort to hear more about the concerns of the voters. Trimmer says he likes this type of campaign and has learned a lot about seeking and retaining public office since his first campaign in 2006.

"The last time was really tough. It was the worst of both worlds. I had a voting record and no campaign experience. I was willing to defend my voting record, but people were more than ready to pick at it."

Trimmer, D-Winfield, was in a unique incumbent situation two years ago. He had been appointed to fill out the remainder of the term of the late Rep. Judy Showalter. While he said his campaign experience was short of what it could have been, it did the trick, as Trimmer was elected to his first term in the Kansas House.

Now with two more sessions under his belt and more familiarity with the 78th District, Trimmer is eager to serve for two more years.

Trimmer currently serves on the Health and Human Services, Education and Government Efficiency and Technology committees. He also is a recent appointee to the newly-formed Kansas Commission on Rural Policy.

Trimmer says with two more years representing the district in Topeka comes a greater knowledge of the bills that have come before the floor, and what their impact on Kansas is.

The incumbent is being challenged by Douglass Republican John Whittington. His opponent has been critical of Trimmer's vote against a proposed coal-fire plant near Holcomb.

Calling the bill a bad piece of legislation, Trimmer said the plant would have benefited Colorado and harmed Kansas. He also staid that more people seemed to agree with Trimmer's opposition to the bill than disagree.

"I've got more positive feedback on the decision on Holcomb. I've been willing to talk about it," said Trimmer. "I've learned to look at a piece of legislation and read it and understand what it does. This would not have been good for Kansas as the bill was."

Trimmer has been a proponent of producing energy in the state and has made numerous visits to the wind farms in the district between Latham and Beaumont. He would like to see more wind energy sold.

Trimmer, 56, is a retired teacher for the Winfield school district, and his wife, Kris, is still with the district. His experience as a teacher offers him an insight into education issues, he says, and he serves on the education committee.

More focus on early childhood education is something Trimmer would like to see. Other states do a better job in emphasizing the early years, Trimmer said, and he agrees with House Speaker Melvin Neufeld, who, according to Trimmer, has attended seminars on early childhood education and has said the state needs to make a greater commitment in this area.

"We need to look at what's going to do the most good down the road," Trimmer said.

Trimmer said he thinks this will not only help the youth in their education, but could also translate into lower juvenile arrest rates.

A commitment is also needed to technical education. Trimmer said with as much manufacturing as there is in the area, state officials should work more with the community colleges and technical schools - stateside as well as in Cowley County - and help them come up with curricula that would promote technical education.

Health care affordability is an area in which Trimmer wants to see improvement. He was disappointed in how the House leadership handled health care issues last session.

Trimmer would like to look further at the feasibility of a state-sponsored health insurance pool that would allow small businesses to join. He, like his opponent, would like to see a reduction in administrative costs at health care facilities. Trimmer also wants to see more integration between clinics and a shared records system that would still be in compliance with health care privacy issues.