The Best Thanksgiving!

While people around the country gathered with their families to celebrate Thanksgiving, our family had an extra special reason to give thanks to God this year.

On September 20, our daughter Noelle was in a near-deadly collision with an 18-wheeler at the hwy 50/281 intersection. Our family will never forget the sight of her in the Stafford county hospital as we waited for the helicopter to arrive and rush her to a trauma center in Wichita. Nor will we forget the uncertainty in the voice of the trauma doctor as he apprised us of Noelle’s condition.

She had suffered “traumatic brain injury” with the specific diagnosis of Diffuse Axonal Injury. We were told she could be unconscious for 24 hours or 2 months…there was no way to predict. The length of the coma would be an indication of how severe the brain was injured. So we waited in suspense for 10 days before she regained semi-consciousness. Because the injury was diffuse, there was no way to know how she would be affected.

After four days of semi-consciousness, she was transferred to Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, NE. When she arrived at Madonna, the right side of her body did not function, and her left side was very limited. She still had a tracheostomy and feeding tube. The staff at Madonna estimated her stay there would be longer than the typical brain injury patient after evaluating her.

One of Noelle’s first actions when she discovered she could use her left arm was to give everyone a one-armed hug. At one point (unable to speak), she was “indicating” she wanted a hug about every 5-10 minutes. There were several family members there at the time, so she had a steady supply of hugs even though she still needed help just to sit up.

After removal of the “trach”, she eventually she began to whisper. After two days of whispering, she remembered how to talk. Her speech was slow and labored, but she was extremely pleased! That day, her sister who was staying with her at the time, called the rest of us at home so Noelle could talk to us. The thrill of hearing her was enough to bring tears to everyone. I recorded much of that first call on a computer so we could enjoy it indefinitely. Shortly after learning to speak, she asked her sister to climb into bed with her to watch a movie. So the two of them sat in that single wide hospital bed watching a DVD together!

The whole time she was in ICU, she had a friend or family member with her. The entire time she was in rehab in Nebraska, her mother and two older sisters took turns staying with her, while I shuttled them and her younger siblings back and forth on weekends. So our household has had a minimum of a 2-person “hole” in the family during the ordeal.

To the surprise of the staff at Madonna, she made rapid progress in her recovery. One person, who was present in the trauma center the day of her accident, posted on Facebook that we were experiencing a miracle before our eyes. Noelle was discharged 3 weeks prior to their original projection, and was home just in time for Thanksgiving and her grandparents’ 50th anniversary. She will still have an extended out-patient process close by in Pratt. We give our most sincere thanks to all our friends who supported us throughout the past two months, and we thank God for hearing the prayers of so many friends and family. The Holmes family had their best Thanksgiving ever this year!

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A Sudden Change in Life

I realize that many of you are already very familiar with this situation. But for those who have not heard, our barely 18 year old daughter, Noelle, did not see an approaching semi before pulling on to highway 50 last Thursday, September 20. She has been unconscious now for 10 days, but showing signs of waking recently.

Hopefully our lives will regain some semblance of normalcy before the legislative session begins in January. I had planned on having a listening tour throughout the new 33rd senate district, but am not sure if/when it can happen.

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A different attitude among Kansas voters

This is my fourth campaign (1st for a Senate Seat), and I’ve noticed a difference this time among the voters I was meeting. I’m not sure if it was the redistricting or just greater access to legislative information via the internet. Perhaps it was a combination of those two factors, or perhaps a totally different factor.

The difference was that voters were telling me they were researching the record of both candidates! This was not an isolated occurrence. I heard this same theme on a daily basis as I was going door-to-door. People were telling me that they were looking up the voting records of both candidates…and that they did not like what they were finding out about the incumbent senator!

One person I met told me he had already voted for me. I asked why he voted for me instead of the incumbent. He told me he had researched her record in the Senate, and my record in the House. He said he didn’t like how the incumbent habitually voted with the Democrats.

I believe the voters are getting more savvy due to the internet. I also believe voters have been taking a greater interest in politics since the election of a radical president. Liberal Republicans tried to buy this election with absolutely stunning amounts of money, but most voters were too smart this year to be fooled by all the glossy postcards, radio, and television ads. This is true of many races across the state, not just this particular district. I believe we’re entering a new era of transparency in the legislative process that will truly benefit the citizens of Kansas.

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Victory! And How!

The Kansas Republican primary is reverberating through the state as analysts try to figure out the changes that will take place next session. I believe the significance is very great. Kansas Republicans clearly showed that they are tired of having their elected officials indistinguishable from Democrats. Perhaps the most significant victory was over the current Senate President by Representative Larry Powell.

One of the most interesting facts about this race is the imbalance in expenditures. Senator Teichman spent four (4) times the amount of money that I did. Money apparently can’t cover one’s track record.

I want to thank all those who joined the cause, whether through a financial contribution or volunteerism (or both!). This was much bigger than changing one seat as this primary will resonate through all of Kansas for years to come! Thanks again.

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A simple answer

I received a call last night from a friend who received a postcard from my opponent saying that I voted “with the Democrats” several thousand times over the past 8 years. It is obvious that the attempt is to make me look like a “Republican in name only”, in other words, attempting to reverse roles.

I could go into a long-winded response, but there is a small fact that obliterates this assertion. That fact is that left-wing organizations like the AFL-CIO, KNEA, and Planned Parenthood, are endorsing the incumbent! The KNEA initiated a major effort to get Democrats to switch parties so they could vote for her in the Republican primary. They went so far as to run paid advertisements in some of the small town newspapers in the 33rd district encouraging Democrats to register as a Republican so they could vote for Senator Teichman, then switch back to Democrat immediately following the primary. That little fact should let people know it’s not me who votes with the Democrats!

Verify here!

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Rubber stamp for who?

Lately I keep hearing my opponent using the term “rubber stamp”. Actually, she keeps telling audiences that she’s no rubber stamp for the governor. Perhaps this is supposed to imply that I am.

I have a couple of comments on the constant use of the term “rubber stamp”. First, I was the one who went to the governor and convinced him that we had a better solution to the KPERS dilemma than a Defined Contribution plan. Doesn’t sound like rubber stamping, does it?

And second, my opponent has constantly taken credit for voting for the Rural Opportunity Zones and several water rights bills dealing with irrigation. The funny thing is, both of these new policies were from the governor himself. While she bashes our governor and implies that anybody who agrees with him is a rubber stamp, she is out bragging about her support for his ideas. Does this mean she is “rubber stamping” the governor’s agenda?

Actually, she does rubber stamp the agenda of a special interest group. That group would be the KNEA.

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Who’s the real Republican in the Republican Primary?

Because both candidates in this race have served previously, there is a vast amount of factual data that is public knowledge. This is good for the voters, as they can see the track record of both candidates. One candidate in this race is VERY WELL financed, and is using those resources to lead Republicans to believe she has conservative values. However, the public record shows a much different story.

Here is a link to a site of interest for comparison of the two candidates:

Here are the two scorecards of interest (one for the House, the other for the Senate) look for Mitch Holmes. Look for Ruth Teichman

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What’s the Difference? (part 2)

In continuing with this subject (part 1 below), I’d like to point out the differences in the way Senator Teichman and I feel about ObamaCare. Senator Teichman is good friends with Kathleen Sebelius, so it’s no surprise that she consistently votes with the Democrats. In 2010, the House advanced a constitutional amendment for the people of Kansas to vote on. This amendment would make sure Kansans cannot be coerced into a healthcare plan, nor be prohibited from paying for health services directly.

Because this was a constitutional amendment, a 2/3 majority (27) was required. Only after garnering the necessary votes in both chambers can the general public vote on the issue. The resolution failed with only 26 votes. All eight Democrat and six Republican senators were able to block it’s passage. In fact, there were only four (4) Republican senators who consistently voted against health care freedom between 2010 – 2012. Sen. Teichman is one of those four who kept you from having the opportunity to stand against the “fundamental change” that Obama is forcing on America.

Where was Representative Mitch Holmes on this issue. Well, I was one of the co-sponsors of the resolution. I wanted Kansans to have a chance to resist the Obama agenda.

Here is a link where you can read details:

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Mitch Holmes

Representative Mitch Holmes for Kansas State Senate District 33

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What’s the Difference? (part 1)

I’ve been observing the strategy of my opponent, Senator Ruth Teichman, and have been amused that she is emphasizing our similarities rather than our differences. She is bragging about voting for the creation of the Rural Opportunity Zones (SB 198). The funny thing is…almost everyone voted for it! Out of 40 Senators, only 5 urban Democrats voted against it. When it got to the House, it passed 102/18 with the only nays being urban legislators! Obviously, I voted the same way as Senator Teichman on this particular bill. So how is this vote supposed to distinguish the two of us?

Also, on her palm card (brochure) all she states are things that we are alike on. In fact, you could easily put my name and picture on it and it would still be accurate! (except for personal resume).

Although there are many differences between us, one very important difference is that I am solidly pro-life. You can expect my vote on life issues to be consistent, whether it is the beginning of life or the end of it. I will bring up other major differences as the campaign progresses.

As we approach election day, it should be interesting to see how she distinguishes herself as we enter the debates that are being scheduled. Stay tuned!

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