First Kansas gubernatorial forum since primary comes to Olathe

Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 9:44 PM CDT
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OLATHE, Kan. (KCTV) - With just two months to go before the general election, both candidates running for Kansas governor took to the same stage Wednesday night for the first time since the primaries.

Two debates are still to come.

Wednesday’s forum, hosted by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, came in an individual question-and-answer format following a meet-and-greet and dinner.

Candidates for governor, attorney general, secretary of state and treasurer came to the stage individually to answer questions prepared by the Chamber. With the audience in mind, many questions were geared towards business owners.

Governor Laura Kelly, a Democrat seeking re-election was asked about attracting business to the state.

“What we’ve got is working. I think the fact that we have worked as a team with our local communities, our business community, has really impressed a lot of our CEOs who have come in to take a look at Kansas. Other things they are impressed by is the work ethic in the state of Kansas. It is incredible. They just wish we had more workers,” Kelly said.

Schmidt was asked about the other side of the equation: workforce development.

“We’ve got to do much better in connecting kids as they’re growing up and coming up in middle school in early high school with job opportunities and things that are outside, perhaps, their and their families life experiences so that they can make a more informed choice what their options are. So that we can invest our time and and our efforts and our mentorship and our money in helping them grow toward an objective. And, so we have the next generation of Kansas workers connected to jobs and opportunities coming out of school. So that they are more likely to stay here and grow the next generation of Kansans,” Schmidt replied.

The next two discussions coming up between the gubernatorial candidates will be in debate format.

The first is at the Kansas State Fair on Saturday morning, hosted by The Kansas Radio Networks and WIBW Radio.

WIBW indicates the second debate, on Oct. 5, will be organized by the Johnson County Bar Association and broadcast by Kansas City PBS television.