TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – KSNT News is announcing the only planned congressional debate between Republican candidates Jake LaTurner, Dennis Taylor and incumbent Steve Watkins ahead of the Aug. 4 primary. The winner will take on Democrat Michelle De La Isla, currently Topeka’s mayor, in the Nov. 3 general election. The second district seat represents all of eastern Kansas, outside of the Kansas City area which has its own representative.
The debate will air live at 6:30 p.m. on July 14 on KSNT and KSNT.com, and the station’s political analyst Dr. Bob Beatty will moderate.
LaTurner, currently Kansas state treasurer, was initially running for Kansas’s open U.S. senate seat from retiring Sen. Pat Roberts. However, the state’s former Republican Gov. Jeff Colyer publicly urged him to enter the congressional race.
Taylor, who served as the department of administration secretary under former Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, ran for secretary of state in 2018. He was added to the KSNT debate late, after providing information that he will meet our company’s corporate debate guidelines by July 2.
Watkins, a political newcomer when he ran in 2018, is in his first term in congress. He has been at the center of some controversies, including a current criminal investigation into the address he listed on his voter’s registration.
Watkins won the 2nd Congressional District seat in 2018 with 47.6 percent of the vote against Democrat Paul Davis’ 46.8 percent.
KSNT’s debate will also air live on KSNF in southeast Kansas and on our Kansas City sister station’s website, Fox4KC.com.