The city's former mayor plans to take on the Kansas Board of Education member who is opposed to educating the children of illegal immigrants and once falsely accused him of being in the country illegally.I don't know whether it's legal to contribute to the campaign before he files, but I'll get more information on this, and on him.
But Tim Cruz insisted the decision to seek Connie Morris' seat on the board wasn't personal.
"I don't think our voice is being heard very well on the state board," said Cruz, a Democrat. "My intention is to get around to the schools in the district - especially in Garden City, in our own community - and be able to represent our community, southwest Kansas."
Morris, a Republican, is from St. Francis in northwest Kansas. She has already said she plans to run in 2006.
Cruz has not officially filed for the seat but sent a letter of intent to the state on Friday.
Morris' 2002 campaign platform included attacks on public education for the children of illegal immigrants. Garden City, like most of southwest Kansas' larger towns, has seen its Hispanic population increase dramatically in recent years.
In 2003, Morris accused Cruz - who was born in Garden City to native-born citizens - of being an illegal immigrant himself. She later apologized, and both have said they consider the incident closed.
"The apology has been made, and Mr. Cruz and I have visited, and I'm sure he's accepted my apology, and that's the end of that, as far as I'm considered," Morris said.
It looks like he's well connected to local politics, even being appointed to the National Hispanic Leadership Summit by Republican Sam Brownback.
His educational credentials are a little thin, so TfK will reserve our endorsement until we know that he's qualified to handle educational policy. He sits on the state's Children's Cabinet, overseeing distribution of the money from the tobacco suit and looking at ways of reducing child abuse.
Anyone know his email address? Google gives me a phone number, but it seems rude to just be calling that, especially on a weekend.