WICHITA, Kan. — The two Republicans vying for the south-central Kansas congressional seat traded barbs at their first face-to-face forum.
Congressman Mike Pompeo told the Wichita Crime Commission on Monday he's on a mission in Washington to shrink the size and scope of government. He says he believes deeply in the private sector.
Former congressman Todd Tiahrt said he's challenging Pompeo in the August primary to reclaim his old seat because he cannot sit by and watch all the hard work he did in Washington deteriorate. He cited what he called the "train wreck" in Washington caused by lawmakers who can't get along with each other.
Tiahrt represented the 4th Congressional District for 16 years before giving it up in 2010 for an unsuccessful campaign for Senate.
The two contenders for the Republican nomination in Kansas' 4th Congressional District are facing off at their first joint public event.
Congressman Mike Pompeo and his challenger, former Congressman Todd Tiahrt, were scheduled to participate Monday in a political forum hosted by the Wichita Crime Commission.
Pompeo is running for a third term from the Wichita-area district. Tiahrt represented the district for 16 years before giving up the U.S. House seat in 2010 for an unsuccessful run for U.S. Senate.
Both candidates have pointed fingers at each other concerning pre-primary meetings. Tiahrt accused Pompeo of dodging several debates and forums, and demanding all candidates appear without notes or notebooks. Pompeo accused Tiahrt of a slow response to a five-debate challenge.
They're the only two Republicans vying in the Aug. 5 primary. Perry Schuckman is unopposed in the Democratic primary; he apparently will not attend the forum, as his name was not included in the Crime Commission's announcement.
Monday's forum at a Wichita restaurant was open to Crime Commission members and their guests.