The state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Medicaid expansion and abortion rights were a few of the main topics raised during the Shawnee Mission Post’s forum on Oct. 1 ahead for the candidates seeking the Kansas House District 18 seat.
Republican candidate Cathy Gordon is challenging Democratic incumbent Cindy Neighbor in the November general election.
Below is the list of questions posed by the Post staff and readers, including the timestamps. The video of the forum can be viewed on the Post’s Facebook page and is also embedded below.
- We have been starting all of our forums off with a version of this question: With politics at the national level monopolizing much of voters’ attention in 2020, what do you think are Kansas’s biggest state-level priorities that need to be addressed? 5:17
- The COVID-19 pandemic is now entering its seventh month. In Johnson County, new cases continue to rise and the percent-positive rate also suggests that community spread is still occurring, though also acknowledging that not enough testing is being done. How would you assess the state’s response to the pandemic so far? Has the state not done enough or too much or somewhere in between? 8:28
- Would you vote for a bill to expand Medicaid? It’s likely that this issue will come up again in the next legislative session. If not, how do you justify that choice in regard to loss of federal funds, the loss of hospitals … especially in rural areas … and an increasing number of Kansans without health insurance? If yes, how do you respond to critics who say it will cost too much? 20:35
- (From a reader) Please discuss your positions on current gun laws in Kansas. In your opinion, what is the balance between safety and Second Amendment rights? 25:16
- (Inspired by a reader) What are your positions on using publicly funded school vouchers for private school tuition? And then more broadly, what is your position on how well funded public schools in Kansas are? 27:30
- A measure to put a proposed constitutional amendment related to abortion failed to pass the Kansas House last session after being approved by the Senate. This measure sought to explicitly write out of the Kansas Constitution a right to abortion that was enshrined by a 2019 Kansas Supreme Court ruling. If you are elected (or re-elected), it’s possible that you’ll be faced with a vote on a similar measure. Do you think Kansans should be afforded a constitutional right to abortion? And what, if any limits, on abortion do you support? 31:27
- Is action needed in the Legislature to ensure that all Kansans are treated fairly at the hands of police and government institutions amid the ongoing movement for social justice and police accountability? Do you believe Kansas open records and meetings laws guarantee sufficient transparency of law enforcement in the state? 35:19