Former U.S. House Speaker Tip O’Neill famously said, “All politics is local.”
That truism is getting challenged in 2020. A global pandemic, an economic crisis, a still-simmering social justice movement and, now, a U.S. Supreme Court vacancy, have all combined to make politics more nationalized than at any other point in recent memory.
Still, we at the Post believe deeply in the power and necessity of keeping our readers attuned to local issues. It’s why we send our reporters to school board and city council meetings (or, nowadays, watch their Zoom calls). It’s why we report on how decisions made in Topeka impact citizens and businesses in Johnson County. And it’s why, every election cycle, we give you a chance to hear directly from the candidates who aim to represent you in local and state government.
Yes, 2020 has been unprecedented in many ways, but in this aspect, at least, we hope our work remains the same.
So, now, we are offering you — the voters — a chance to ask questions of local candidates as part of our upcoming slate of candidate forums. The first forum is Tuesday, Sept. 29. Here’s a schedule of the nearly 20 forums we have planned over the next month. All of them will be virtual because of the pandemic and aired and archived on our Facebook page.
We’ve also sent questionnaires to all the candidates, constructed from our readers’ suggestions and priorities, and we’ll be publishing their answers starting in October.
This is another opportunity to question the candidates. Below you’ll find links to a Google form for each local race for which we will host a forum. If you have a question you’d like to ask candidates in a particular race, then click on the link and enter your question in the form that pops up.
We’ll keep track of the questions we receive and try to get to as many as we can when we host the candidates in the weeks leading up to Nov. 3.
Tuesday, Sept. 29
KS Senate District 10: Republican Mike Thompson and Democrat Lindsey Constance, Question survey
KS Senate District 21: Republican Tom Bickimer and Democrat Dinah Sykes, Question survey
Wednesday, Sept. 30
Johnson County District Attorney: Steve Howe and Zach Thomas, Question survey
KS State Board of Education, District 2: Ben Hodge and Melanie Haas, Question survey
JoCo Board of County Commissioners, District 2: Jeff Meyers and Rob Patterson, Question survey
Thursday, Oct. 1
KS House District 17: Democrat Jo Ella Hoye, Libertarian Michael Kerner and Republican Kristine Sapp, Question survey
KS House District 18: Republican Cathy Gordon and Democrat Cindy Neighbor, Question survey
KS House District 39: Democrat Les Lampe and Republican Owen Donohoe, Question survey
Tuesday, Oct. 6
KS House District 14: Democrat Angela Schweller and Republican Charlotte Esau, Question survey
KS House District 16: Republican Rashard Young and Democrat Linda Featherston, Question survey
KS House District 23: Libertarian Matthew Clark, Democrat Susan Ruiz and Republican Jeff Shull, Question survey
KS House District 30: Republican Laura Williams and Democrat Brandon Woodard, Question survey
Wednesday, Oct. 7
KS Senate District 6: Democrat Pat Pettey and Republican Diana Whittington, Question survey
KS Senate District 7: Democrat Ethan Corson and Republican Laura McConwell, Question survey
Thursday, Oct. 8
KS Senate District 8: Republican James Todd and Democrat Cindy Holscher, Question survey
KS Senate District 11: Democrat Joy Koesten and Republican Kellie Warren, Question survey
Tuesday, Oct. 13
KS House District 20: Democrat Mari-Lynn Poskin and Republican Jane Dirks, Question survey
KS House District 21: Republican Bob Reese and Democrat Jerry Stogsdill, Question survey
KS House District 29: Republican Jerry Clinton and Democrat Brett Parker, Question survey