Senate candidates hold Town Hall at Republican Expo
Three of the Kansas Republican U.S. Senate candidates, Dr. Roger Marshall, Dave Lindstrom and Kris Kobach, participated in a town hall Saturday in Dodge City.
This was the first major speaking event of the larger Dodge City Republican Expo hosted at the United Wireless Arena, organized by the Kansas Republican Party’s First Congressional District and the local Wild West Republican Women’s club.
Bob Hamilton, another Kansas Republican running for Senate, had a booth present at the Expo but was not present himself due to attending a family engagement.
The Senate candidates were invited to be interviewed separately by KNSS radio host John Whitmer, of Wichita, starting with current 1st District Congressman Marshall.
Marshall began by citing his 98% voting record with President Donald Trump and that he has stood by conservatives through the impeachment hearings, the trade war with China and the ongoing riots.
“I helped President Trump rebuild this economy before and I’ll do it again,” said Marshall, asserting that he is one of the most conservative members of Congress.
Marshall said that the U.S. Supreme Court is “legislating from the bench” when it comes to DACA and that he supports the President’s immigration policy and the construction of the southern border wall.
He also said that the Supreme Court is threatening U.S. people’s civil liberties, including religious freedoms, and that while no one should be discriminated against, private enterprises such as colleges need to be able to hire and fire people that are not consistent with the conservative lifestyle.
His response to a second round of tax cuts is considering a form of “payroll holiday” and that such a policy is being workshopped with the President. He advocates liability protection for people as schools and businesses continue to reopen.
Marshall affirmed his support for law enforcement regarding South Carolina Senator Tim Scott’s block police reform bill.
“So, this election is so important, every election is important, but this next election is about the future, and my goal is going to be to keep standing with President Trump,” said Marshall. “I’m the person up here that has a track record of supporting him through thick and thin, I have a track record of helping him rebuild this economy, I have a track record of helping keep Kansas safe.”
Lindstrom, a Johnson County resident, businessman, and former defensive end for the Kansas City Chiefs, was next to interview with Whitmer.
Lindstrom first addressed the concerns shared by Republicans that doubt the traction of his campaign, stating he is running for Senate because the country is “under attack.”
“We have politicians in Washington, D.C., who are talking about socialism as an economic way forward in this country,” said Lindstrom. “We have people in Washington, D.C., elected officials that are talking about open borders. We have elected officials in Washington, D.C., both Republicans and Democrats that are subscribing to trillion-dollar deficits.”
A man with business experience, Lindstrom gave his insight to President Trump’s reopening procedures.
He believed that tax cuts need to be extended, saying they were vital to the economy and that the country did not reopen too quick but rather closed too soon.
Lindstrom, a former restaurateur, said that he does support a Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (M-COOL) for beef and the PRIME Act.
He has traveled to and talked to several Kansas farmers and ranchers and advocated for them already by writing a letter to the President, explaining the dire condition of the beef and cattle industry.
He said that the country needs to discuss the Antitrust Laws and bring industries back to the U.S. from foreign packing houses.
Describing himself as a team player, Lindstrom said he’d work with his fellow Senators to get the economy back on track post-COVID-19, and that tough decisions need to be made relating to the budget.
He extends his point to his thoughts about police reform, calling it a step in the right direction, while calling out elected officials for not shutting down rioting and looting.
Whitmer’s final Senate town hall discussion was with Kobach, the former Kansas Secretary of State.
When asked what he has to say to the Republican Party’s concerns about him being a “drag” on down-ballot races or a potential jeopardy to the Senate seat after losing the Governor’s seat to Laura Kelly in 2018, Kobach said, “So first of all don’t take my word for it, just look at the pollsters who are handicapping this race, and there’s a lot of people around the country handicapping it.”
He continued, citing an article that Rasmussen published, “That with Kobach as the Senate candidate, Kansas will hold its Senate seat.”
He anticipates an equal neck-and-neck election, regardless of the Senate candidate, come the general election on Nov. 3.
When asked about the DACA and self-gender identification rulings, Kobach said he will use his 15 years of experience as a professor of constitutional law and become a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee to fight against activist judges.
Kobach calls back to 2012, where he represented the original 10 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents who sued the Obama Administration in the first DACA case, as more experience.
“We need powerful Senators, who are going to able to hold the line against activist judges,” said Kobach. “Activist judges are ruining this country, they’re destroying our Constitution, they’re threatening our Second Amendment rights, they threaten the right to life.
“And one thing I know is that when I get there, in addition to asking for a seat on the Ag Committee, I’ll be asking for a seat on the Judiciary Committee and when President Trump gets his next nominee, you thought the (Brett) Kavanaugh hearings were tough? The next one’s going to make that look like child’s play.”
Whitmer’s last question to Kobach prompted a divergent response when asked how he would expand trade for Kansas agricultural producers.
He labeled China a threat to the U.S and that more trade with them is not always viable without conditions. Kobach said the U.S. needs to support President Trump’s decision to continue trade tariffs against China, if such decision is made.