MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) — The Kansas Republican Party held its second U.S. Senate debate on Saturday in Manhattan. Five Republican candidates took to the debate stage in hopes of securing the U.S. Senate seat left by Republican Senator Pat Roberts, who is retiring.
The candidates present at the debate included Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle, former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, U.S. Congressman for Kansas Roger Marshall, former Chiefs football player and businessman Dave Lindstrom and Kansas plumber and business owner Bob Hamilton.
Questions for the candidates during this debate focused on agriculture and rural Kansas. One question asked the candidates how they would get young people to stay, or move back to, Kansas. Many candidates highlighted job availability and rural broadband as essentials.
“They have to have three things: jobs, rural broadband, and opportunity; and I think I can deliver all three,” said Kris Kobach. “In order to that, you have to keep our taxes low.”
“We need to have access for broadband all over the state of Kansas, not just the big cities where it’s profitable, but out to the little guy,” said Susan Wagle. “The only way to get it is to take on the big interests in D.C. who have a lot of profit to make, and they just don’t make money by running that line out to the small farmer.”
“Young people want to be a part of something bigger than themselves and that Kansas Ag can do that, especially with technology. No one uses technology more than the ag community, other than possibly the military,” said Dave Lindstrom.
Candidates were also asked about the consolidation of Kansas agriculture.
“What creates consolidation of the industries is over regulations and that’s why I’ve been working with President Trump since the day I got there to start rolling back regulations to allow more competition,” said Roger Marshall.
“It is not fair for our ranchers to bring their product to the food processors and they get lowballed on price and then on the other end, the consumers are paying higher prices than ever,” said Bob Hamilton. “We need more outlets, more places that our ranchers can bring their products to.”
You can watch a replay of the entire debate on the Kansas Republican Party Facebook page.
Declared democratic nominees for the U.S. Senate seat include Kansas Senator Barbara Bollier, Robert Tillman and Adam Smith.
The August primary election will narrow the candidates down to just one democrat and one republican. Followed by the general election in November.