A debate for congressional candidates will go on Thursday evening at Friends University without Republican candidate Ron Estes.
The debate will feature the other two candidates, Democrat James Thompson and Libertarian Chris Rockhold.
The three candidates are vying for the 4th District congressional seat vacated by former Rep. Mike Pompeo, who resigned to become director of the Central Intelligence Agency in the Trump administration.
The special election to fill the seat will be April 11.
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Campaign spokesman Rodger Woods said Estes, the state treasurer, will have to be in Topeka on Thursday and Friday for meetings of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System board and won’t be at the debate.
Thompson, a civil rights attorney, confirmed last week he’ll be attending the event. “I don’t duck debates,” he said.
Rockhold, a flight simulator instructor, could not be reached for comment. But organizers with the League of Women Voters and Women for Kansas, who are sponsoring the debate, said he has confirmed he will be attending.
“Whoever is there is there,” said organizer Martha Pint. “Our interest remains to be we want an informed citizenry and for the candidates’ messages to be heard.
“We want people to vote, and we want them to make educated decisions. That’s all we ask.”
The debate will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Alumni Auditorium in the Davis Hall administration building at Friends University, 2100 W. University Ave.