HUTCHINSON — Dr. Roger Marshall exhibited the confidence of a serious challenger to reigning First District Congressman Tim Huelskamp. Great Bend’s Marshall had the poise to say the right things and make all the right moves, starting and ending with handshakes with Huelskamp and all of the panelists.
A crowd nearly matching the capacity of 422 was entertained from start to finish. They politely applauded responses they liked. Only one time was a spectator out of line. Security wasn’t needed.
Marshall’s work as a private physician and business owner gives him a versatile background to engage in debate about the Affordable Care Act and health-care.
But beating a three-time winner in a re-election challenge is never easy.
Huelskamp is a proven commodity who has never disguised his core conservative values. He tends to not compromise on his core values. Rep. Huelskamp said he fights for principles that built this country — life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. He was warmly greeted by conservative followers after the debate.
Huelskamp’s biggest achievement is his success working with reform at Veterans Administration facilities in Kansas. He’s helped veterans receive more assistance away from VA facilities. More than 1,000 First District veterans have been assisted dealing with the VA.
The reigning incumbent and challenger profess similar philosophies centered around self-proclaimed conservative beliefs.
They agreed on a lot of topics:
FOR — Tax reform, term limits, farm trade expansion, health-care reform, Farm Bill reform.
AGAINST — Affordable Care Act, Supreme Court abortion ruling, Hillary Clinton.
The debate proved that both candidates could discuss the issues in a civil matter.
Their television advertising exhibits the dark side of campaigning. Marshall’s worst commercial shows fictional headlines and imaginary conclusions drawn from a variety of sources. All of the information displayed was apparently printed somewhere, but fact and context is thrown out the window. It casts the Marshall campaign in a poor light.
Huelskamp’s favorite ad carries the actual 911 tape from Barton County’s dispatch regarding an incident with Marshall’s neighbor. That’s completely factual. Of course, the conclusions that are drawn in the commercial are strictly opinions.
The only opinion that will eventually matter is the voters’.
Marshall’s performance guarantees the Aug. 2 Republican primary will be very interesting.