WICHITA, Kan. – This makes five.
We've now received word Sam Brownback's handpicked choice for Congress, Ron Estes, will be skipping two more public debates. The first is a community-based event at Saint Mark Voter Empowerment Forum on Sunday. The second, hosted by the Wichita Chamber-backed Young Professionals of Wichita, is a “meet the candidates” mingle on Tuesday at Central Standard Brewing.
His campaign initially gave excuses for ducking past debates, then changed their story to say the League of Women Voters, the Wichita Chamber of Commerce, and Sunflower Community Action were partisan actors, incapable of giving a Brownbacker like Estes a fair hearing.
“It's cowardice,” said Chris Pumpelly, spokesman for James Thompson's campaign for Congress. “Estes isn't entitled to anything, save being held accountable for enabling Brownback's every policy blunder. To ignore your voters and expect their votes come April 11 is the height of arrogance.
“The voters of the 4th District of Kansas aren't stupid. To assume they'll vote for you simply because of your party affiliation is a dangerous gamble. Gov. Brownback has led our state to a terrible place, and Ron Estes enabled him at every turn. To think you're above answering questions from voters is pathetic and unbecoming of a man seeking federal office.”
The only “public” debate Estes has confirmed is, in fact, to be held at a private venue, held in the middle of a work day, and there is a $20 entrance fee. Thompson has agreed to every public forum and debate.
Thompson has a busy weekend of public events. So far today, he has gone to a gun show, participated in a Reddit AMA and has gone to Fiesta in the Park. He's excited to meet voters all across the district, wherever possible.
He maintains his challenge Estes to hold a debate at a public forum with an audience.