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The Salina Journal - Businessman Comes Off The Sidelines

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February 19, 2006

Businessman Comes Off The Sidelines

John Doll to challenge U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran

April Middleton
Salina Journal

As a coach, John Doll use to tell his players they could "sit on the sidelines and complain or they could be part of the system."

Now, the businessman from Garden City is following his own advice.

Doll, 48, said he's waited for years to see someone challenge U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran, who represents the 1st Congressional District.

It hasn't happened and Doll got tired of waiting.

"I kept telling myself, 'Someone needs to do this,' " Doll, a Democrat, said. "Then when no one did, I said, 'Why not me?' "

Doll lives in Garden City with his wife, Janet, and son, who is a high school freshman, and owns Doll Spraying Service. His daughter is a freshman at Kansas University.

He doesn't have the money to campaign that Moran does, so he's getting his name out the hard way -- traveling across the 69 counties in the 1st Congressional District.

"I won't be outworked," Doll said.

Doll attended the Saline County Democratic Women's meeting Saturday. Afterward, he talked with the Journal.

He understands defeating Moran, who has served since 1997, will be a challenge. But, he said, "I like challenges."

"Some people are looking at it as if I have no chance in what everyone looks at as a totally Red State," he said. "What is the
worst thing that can happen? I could lose. So what? Or, if I win, I could influence policy change and give people a choice and a voice."

The top items on his agenda are Medicare, promoting Kansas as a good place to produce alternative energy sources and promoting economic development in the state.

"We have to create jobs," Doll said. "We have too many young people who want to leave. We have to find a way to keep our talent at home.

As a former teacher and farmer, he said education and agricultural issues are also important to him.

Instead of making children a primary concern, money has continuously been cut from education budgets, Doll said.

"I've been frustrated watching the process from the other side," he said. "I'm not happy with some of the decisions being made and votes that I don't think are always made in the best interest of Kansans."

Doll admits one of the things he lacks is political experience. But, he doesn't think that's a bad thing.

"Someone like me who's not in that political loop might be able to get a fresh look," Doll said. "I'm just a good ol' boy from Kansas. And that's all I'll ever be. Even if I win, I'm still a good ol' boy from Kansas."

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