HUTCHINSON, Kan - The three top candidates for the Kansas governor's office were on stage in front of a lively audience at the Kansas State Fair on Saturday.
Democrat Laura Kelly, Republican Kris Kobach and Independent candidate Greg Orman shared their ideas for the future of Kansas, taking shots at each other and at the Sam Brownback administration during the debate at the Bretz & Young Injury Lawyers Arena.
Kelly said the Brownback tax experiment has devastated roads, schools and the economy and she wants to work to invest in those needs. She said she also wants to work for a constitutional amendment to create a rainy-day fund that would force state government to put money away to deal with future economic downturns.
Kobach said the Brownback administration made an error by cutting taxes without cutting spending. He said he wants to cut state spending and return money to taxpayers and he also wants to end what he called the "culture of corruption" in Topeka. He said he also wants to cap property tax appraisal increases at two percent per year.
Orman said the Kansas economy has lagged behind neighboring states and he wants to shake up Topeka and bring new leadership and new ideas. He wants to develop a proactive economic development strategy, and he said the state needs to build better paths to technical education.
Two candidates did not appear in the debate. Independent Rick Kloos and Libertarian candidate Jeff Caldwell did appear on the fairgrounds in a schedule of stump speeches that also featured other candidates for state offices.