TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Congressional candidate Jake LaTurner joined KSNT News morning anchor Brittany Moore Wednesday to share his reactions on the felony charges pressed against his opponent Tuesday night.

Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay filed criminal charges against Kansas Rep. Steve Watkins for voter fraud Tuesday night before KSNT’s congressional debate. LaTurner said these charges were not something he expected before the debate.

“It was surprising news to get just a few minutes before the debate, and this is something voters will have to take into account,” LaTurner said. “They will need to ask themselves a question: ‘who is going to best represent my values, and who can keep the seat in republican hands?”

After the debate, Steve Watkins told KSNT News LaTurner and Kagay both had a connection to a consultant, Singularis, a direct mail firm in Overland Park. Watkins said this made the charges “very suspicious.”

“I truly wasn’t aware of the connection,” LaTurner said. ” I think I’ve met Mike Kagay one time. I don’t know Mike Kagay, I had nothing to do with this.”

LaTurner said this is just another example of Watkins refusing to take responsibility, and he is glad voters will have the chance to see these charges before they make their decision.

“It is clear that if Steve Watkins is the nominee going into this election, we will lose this seat,” LaTurner said. “You cannot represent people well that you don’t know.”

Kagay charged Watkins with three felonies and a misdemeanor that relate to the 2019 local election:

  • Interference with law enforcement, providing false information
  • Voting without being qualified
  • Unlawful advance voting
  • Failing to notify the DMV of change of address