PITTSBURG, Kan. — Newly elected U.S. Rep. Jake LaTurner (R-KS 2nd District) took a break from Washington, DC, on Wednesday to mark the official opening of his new district office at Block22 in downtown Pittsburg.
In an interview with the Morning Sun, LaTurner said the office will now be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, although he hopes to host a bigger grand opening ceremony for the Pittsburg District Office when a better opportunity arises.
“I’m coming down here to officially open it up, let people know that we’re here, but we’ll do something more community-wide when we’re in a better place with COVID,” LaTurner said.
“We’re really proud to have an office here in Pittsburg. This was my job when Congresswoman [Lynn] Jenkins was in office, I ran the Pittsburg office for her, and so it’s near and dear to my heart to make sure that we have a presence down here and that, you know, it’s not some far off office in DC, but right here in Southeast Kansas where people can access constituent services or tell us what their concerns are.”
Navigating the federal government bureaucracy can be difficult, LaTurner noted.
“And so whether folks have issues with their Social Security, you know, getting a passport, veterans’ benefits is incredibly important, whatever their issue is with the federal government that they’re trying to work through, we are here to help them through that process, regardless of party, regardless of any circumstance, we’re here to represent everyone.”
Asked about his current priorities in Congress, LaTurner noted that in running for office he promoted his “Contract with Kansas” that outlined his support for term limits, immigration reform, pro-life and pro-2nd Amendment positions.
“I’m going to abide by that and work really hard to achieve those goals,” he said. “In the short term, we’re dealing with COVID-19, and it is a major issue, and so for me, we’ve got to get people back to work, we have to make sure that schools stay open or reopen if they’ve had to go to virtual, and we need to make sure that everybody that wants a vaccine can get one, and we need to make that happen as quickly as humanly possible and put the resources of the federal government behind that.”
LaTurner also commented on President Joe Biden’s actions so far since taking office, many of which have been through executive orders.
“I believe in the legislative process, and so I think that we need to get away from executive orders that are unilateral decisions by the administration and get back to passing laws through the Congress,” LaTurner said. “President Biden is someone that I’m going to work with when we can find areas of agreement and someone that I’m going to oppose when we disagree, and so far, based on his actions we’re going to disagree on a lot of different things.”
While he may have many areas of disagreement with President Biden and with his Democratic colleagues in Congress, though, LaTurner stressed that the constituent services offered through his district office are available to anyone, even if they disagree with him politically.
“What I really want to emphasize is that we’re here to represent everybody regardless of party, regardless if you voted for me or not I’m here to represent everybody in this district,” LaTurner said. “We can’t promise everybody a good result with constituent work but I can guarantee them a good effort. We are going to work hard and go to the mat for people to help them get what they need from the federal government.”
Addison Tucker, LaTurner’s field representative, will be working full-time at the district office, which is located at 402 N. Broadway Suite B and can be reached 620-308-7450.