Republican Sam Brownback and Democrat Tom Holland will square off today for the first time in a gubernatorial debate at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson.
The outdoor event at 11 a.m. Saturday can be heard live on the WIBW radio website at 580WIBW.com and will broadcast on WIBW 580 at noon Monday.
Holland, a state senator from Baldwin City, is hoping to increase his visibility, against the better-funded and more well-known Brownback, who is a U.S. senator and ran unsuccessfully for the GOP nomination for president in 2008.
The two candidates will face a crowd packed with fairgoers and campaign supporters. Traditionally crowds at debates during the fair are boisterous, but well-behaved.
In 2006, however, there was an altercation between then-state Rep. Vaughn Flora, a Topeka Democrat, and Operation Rescue president Troy Newman, who was dressed as a cockroach to protest then-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. Flora was charged in the fight and paid a fine.
During the 2002 debate between Sebelius and Republican Tim Shallenburger, a person in the crowd passed out and was helped by firefighters who had come to cheer on Sebelius.