Rob Wasinger and Tim Huelskamp are getting spanked by Salina Republicans today, as both candidates opted out of a debate hosted by the party to attend TEA Party tax day rallies.
“I have decided that the Saline County Republicans will make a statement that people should support the candidates that are at our forum because they keep their word,” said Saline County GOP Chairman Gordon Horst, adding he will do this by e-mail and a letter to the local newspaper.
The Huelskamp campaign said that they are overbooked due to a scheduling error. Wasinger, however, has some reservations about participating in the debate – specifically the participation of Maggie Hemmer, who is the wife of Tracey Mann’s campaign chairman, and the fact that Huelskamp would not be attending.
Hemmer was shown to be the author of one of the debate’s planning documents.
We agreed to participate in the debate with the understanding that all candidates were attending and that our concerns about Maggie Hemmer’s role would be addressed. Neither ended up happening. So instead we’ll be attending the tea party in Salina and going door to door there this afternoon to show our commitment to Salina area voters,” said Wasinger Campaign Manager Billy Valentine.
Wasinger will also be represented at two additional TEA parties today in Goodland and Great Bend by his campaign staff.
Jim Barnett, Sue Boldra, Tracey Mann, Marck Cobb and Monte Shadwick will still participate in the debate. As it is a partisan function, Democratic candidate Alan Jilka was not invited.