One would think the gubernatorial candidates in Tuesday’s debate were from two different states– as Democratic Candidate Paul Davis and incumbent Governor Sam Brownback presented very different views about the fiscal status of Kansas.
The contrasting statements were made at the very beginning of the discussion, with Brownback telling the Kansas Association of Broadcasters, which was hosting the debate in Wichita, that things are improving. He talked about record employment rates, with the most recent 4.8 percent unemployment rate. And he pointed to the poverty index going down, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Brownback added, “We are moving in the right direction and getting things done.”
But Davis doesn’t see it that way, saying “The Governor’s economic experiment just isn’t working and it’s not going to work.” Davis went on to say not only are we trailing our surrounding states and the rest of the country in economic growth, it’s “plunged our state deep into debt,” and harming thousands of Kansans.
One of the many topics mentioned was poverty. Davis said Governor Brownback hasn’t done much to help the state’s poverty level, in fact saying he’s made it worse, with one in four children living in poverty. Brownback countered poverty in Kansas stands at 11.8 percent, with the nationwide average of 15.9 percent.
While the two candidates for Kansas Governor differed on almost every question asked of them, the two agreed that the gay marriage question is now up to the courts. Davis, who has served in the Kansas House of Representatives since 2003, indicated he did not support the constitutional amendment when it was debated in the state legislature. But he says Kansans saw things differently and he respects that decision. But he says the issue is now out of the hands of politicians.
Governor Brownback agreed the matter is up to judges now. However Brownback emphasized, as he did several times during the debate, that selection of judges matters a great deal–saying he favors judges who interpret the law rather than in his words “rewrite it as they chose to see it to be.”