Candidates in local Saline County races participated in a forum Tuesday night answering questions in front of a large crowd, and at times trading barbs.
Candidates for Saline County Commission, state legislature, and the United States House of representatives all appeared.
Monte Shadwick and Stephanie Cool, candidates for Saline County Commission District 1 , began the evening. Both were in agreement on many issues. Cool started out by saying that Saline County deserves better leadership, and the “negative headlines on both the local and national lever have to stop”. Among issues discussed were commissioner’s salaries. Both said the salaries are way too high, and that they would both try to get them reduced. Shadwick went a step further, saying if salaries were not reduced he would refuse his.
The two candidates for the state house of representatives 69th District, incumbant J.R. Claeys challenger Gary Swartzendruber were next. They disagreed on most issues, including same-sex marriage, health care in Kansas, education funding, and Governor Brownback’s tax plan. In regard to negative campaign ads that bot are running Swartzendruber explained that he is not a “deadbeat dad”, and Claeys simply answered “yes” when asked if he lived in the district, offering no explanation.
Much like the state legislature forum, the forum for Tim Huelskamp and Jim Sherow for the Kansas 1st District U.S. House of Representatives seat also highlighted a contrast between the two candidates. Both disagreed on most issues. The republican incumbent Huelskamp contended that he is fighting for Kansas against the problems in Washington, while the democrat challenger Sherow contended that Huelskamp is the problem.
The event was held at Kansas Wesleyan University, in anticipation of the large crowd. The crowd was animated, loudly applauding multiple times during the event.
The forum, which was sponsored by the Salina League of Women Voters and the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce, was recorded by both Salina Community Access Television and by Smoky Hills Public TV for rebroadcast.