Wichita Candidates in the race for Kansas governor are having a live televised debate as the Democratic challenger is broadcasting his first TV ad.
State Sen. Tom Holland, the Democratic nominee, faces U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, the Republican candidate, in a forum to be broadcast from the Wichita studios of KWCH. Though the forum will not be televised in Lawrence, you can watch it live on the KWCH website at 6:30 p.m.
Also participating were Libertarian Andrew Gray and Reform Party candidate Ken Cannon.
Brownback is favored to win in GOP-leaning Kansas, but Holland's television ad attacks the Republican candidate over his long tenure in Washington. Brownback has been a senator since 1997.
For weeks, Brownback has been touting his "Road Map for Kansas," a set of goals that includes creating new private-sector jobs and improving fourth-graders' scores on standardized reading and math tests.
Education funding has become a key issue because Brownback has said the state's formula for distributing aid to public schools is flawed and needs to be revised. But Holland has criticized him for not being specific about his plans.
A group of 72 school districts has notified the state that it intends to file a lawsuit — perhaps later this month — because budget problems forced Kansas to back off large increases in education funding granted in previous years.
Thursday's forum is the second for Brownback and Holland, who previously had a debate Sept. 11 at the Kansas State Fair. Since then, their campaigns have been unable to agree on other debates.
The candidates are seeking to succeed Democratic Gov. Mark Parkinson, who plans to become president and chief executive officer of the Washington, D.C.-based American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living after leaving office in January.