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Thursday's Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce forum will be devoid of three incumbent senators.
Jean Schodorf (R-Wichita), Dick Kelsey (R-Goddard) and Carolyn McGinn (R-Sedgwick) declined an invitation to participate, citing the forum was biased after the chamber endorsed their opposition.
"They did not provide one of us with the opportunity to come in and sit down and discuss their concerns, our viewpoints and so forth," Kelsey said. "Then they want us to come to a forum tomorrow where they can ask some 'gotcha' questions and try to embarrass us."
Kelsey said the chamber supported Schodorf, McGinn and himself four years ago, and the three have addressed the chamber's initiatives during that time.
"All these things, we've all supported," Kelsey said. "We've supported the chamber's initiatives 100 percent, and it's unfortunate that they have chosen to actively oppose us.
"They never gave any of us an opportunity to say a word, to give our case, to ask what questions or issues we have that differ with them, because the fact is we don't differ with them."
Kelsey, Schodorf and McGinn are opposed by Dan Kerschen, Michael O'Donnell and Gary Mason, respectively.
McGinn said it is "unfortunate and disappointing" that the chamber is working to create a division in the region instead of trying to unite politics.
Schodorf said the trio has supported the chamber's priorities, including that National Institute for Aviation Research, tax reform, reduced spending and the National Center for Aviation Training - where the three senators held a press conference denouncing the forum.
She said any potential rift between the senators and the chamber will not affect their positions.
"I will always work to bring jobs and new businesses, and retain businesses, for Wichita and south-central Kansas," Schodorf said. "I will always do that, no matter what the chamber says or does."