Letter to the Editor: Degner is open to new ideas


Kai Degner is a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from the 6th District of Virginia. He got a late start in the campaign when he was named Democratic candidate because the previous candidate withdrew due to health concerns.

But Kai is no newcomer to this area. For the past eight years he has served on the City Council of Harrisonburg. For two of those years, he was mayor. While on the council he served on the Harrisonburg/Rockingham Chamber of Commerce, Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance and the Community Criminal Justice Board. He earned two degrees from James Madison University. He works as a realtor.

Many of Kai’s interests relate to agriculture. He acknowledges that fossil fuels continue to have their role. But he strongly encourages investment in solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources, including bio-fuels that can be grown by farmers.

He believes that the prohibition on growing hemp should be repealed. Hemp could be a valuable cash crop in this region. It could supplant the $600 million in hemp products we now import. In addition to farm income, hemp would also serve to expand employment.

Food safety is another subject of keen interest to Kai. He knows that consumer trust in the safety of our food supply is essential to the well-being of food producers. But he is troubled by the fact that this work is now carried out by 15 federal agencies that administer some 30 laws. He believes that all of us, including farmers, would benefit from a simpler and less splintered regulatory system.

Kai has operated three businesses and is a realtor. So he has experienced the administrative headaches and costs of taxes and fees. He is aware there are many areas where policies and procedures can be streamlined and made less burdensome.

Kai has vigorously pursued his candidacy in the vast 6th District. He is a bright, experienced man open to new ideas. He is a firm believer in the message that listening is a fundamental skill for effective leadership.

Bob Lowerre, Woodstock