Friday, October 31, 2014

Wakefield challenges Jenkins to local debate

By The Herald Staff | 8/15/2014

TOPEKA — Margie Wakefield has upped the ante.

After receiving a challenge by U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kansas, to engage in a series of three debates before the November election, Wakefield, a Democrat hoping to unseat Jenkins, said she’s happy to accept. But Wakefield said three debates isn’t enough.

TOPEKA — Margie Wakefield has upped the ante.

After receiving a challenge by U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kansas, to engage in a series of three debates before the November election, Wakefield, a Democrat hoping to unseat Jenkins, said she’s happy to accept. But Wakefield said three debates isn’t enough.

In a letter to Jenkins, Wakefield suggested the two 2nd U.S. House District candidates debate in six counties in the district, including Franklin County.

“If it were reasonable, I would wish to debate in every one of our 25 counties, but these six will have to suffice given the limited time ahead,” Wakefield wrote in the letter.

Wakefield urged Jenkins to engage in issues that are facing Kansans and Americans rather than focusing on political talking points, she said in the letter. Many Americans view Congress as a broken system, Wakefield said, one that does not address tough issues, such as one in four Kansas children living in poverty, women making lower salaries than men and the American education system falling behind many countries in the world.

“Bills are more often being introduced to score political points than to serve the needs of Americans,” Wakefield said, criticizing the current Congress. “Progress is stalled on issues critical to our nation because political gamesmanship has replaced rational negotiation and compromise.”

Because of the size of the district, Wakefield said three debates would not suffice to serve all constituents, and suggested debates in Leavenworth, Shawnee, Crawford, Montgomery, Douglas and Franklin counties.

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