TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Topeka Mayor Michelle De La Isla and Kansas State Treasurer Jake LaTurner faced off in a live debate Wednesday night. The two candidates are fighting for Kansas’ second district congressional seat.
De La Isla served on the Topeka City Council from 2013-2018 before taking over as Topeka’s mayor in 2018.
LaTurner became the youngest statewide official in the U.S. after being appointed to Kansas State Treasurer by former governor Sam Brownback. Prior to being treasurer, LaTurner served as a senator in the states’ 13th district from 2013-2017.
The two candidates went back-and-forth when asked to respond to their opponents negative comments about each other in their respective political ads. LaTurner is calling De La Isla a radical, while De La Isla is associating LaTurner with former Kansas Governor Sam Brownback.
“I would like to remind Mr. LaTurner he and Sam Brownback while they were both in office voted to get rid of Medicaid, and did not expend Medicaid in our state,” De La Isla said.
“If she doesn’t support defunding the police — why are all these national liberal politicians who support defunding the police sending in tens of thousands of dollars to support the Mayor’s campaign,” LaTurner said.
The two are vying for the seat currently held by Congressman Steve Watkins, a Republican who lost to LaTurner in the primary. Local prosecutors charged him with felony voter fraud just 45 minutes before a July debate between Watkins and LaTurner at the KSNT News studios.