Third district debate

(NOTE:  this was written Tuesday, but posted Wednesday)

Six of the seven candidates who are on the ballot in the Republican primary in Iowa’s third congressional district appeared Tuesday morning in an hour-long forum sponsored by The Des Moines Register & WHO-TV.  Here’s the Radio Iowa story about the event.  Short version:  the five candidates who are seeking public office stressed their “non-incumbent” status while the sixth guy, Brad Zaun (former Urbandale mayor; current state senator), said he had a record that shows how he’d vote if elected. 

The most painful part to watch was candidate Mark Rees’ answer to the opening question.  Carol Hunter of The Des Moines Register asked:  “What makes you different from your opponents and why do you think you’re the most qualified candidate here to represent third district residents in congress?’

Rees replied:  “Good morning. I think the thing that differentiates me most from my fellow candidates is the fact that I’ve gone to great lengths on my campaign and on my platform to talk about ideas and issues as opposed to sound bites and cliches.  I’m not a career politician.  I’ve never run for any office before in my life but I have a very analytical approach to problem solving.”

At this point Rees let out a huge sigh.  “Uh, gosh, I’m just stalling here, um, I think the fact that I speak to issues in great detail is what differentiates me most,” he said.

Watch the closing statements and the debate here.  The debate will air on Sunday at 9 a.m. on WHO-TV.  (The closing statements will not be included in the broadcast.)

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.