The opening sentence of the Wednesday Kansas City Star article is pretty damning: “Democrat Sharice Davids has pulled out of an appearance at a candidate forum in Johnson County hours before it was set to begin, citing Rep. Kevin Yoder’s last-minute participation in the event.”
As the Sentinel reported on Tuesday, Davids ducked a traditional KCK debate forum over unexplained “scheduling conflicts.” She did not have that excuse for the Johnson County Bar Association forum at lunchtime on Wednesday.
The Democratic challenger had agreed in August to attend the forum. The Republican Yoder, the incumbent in Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District, was able to make the event due to the fact that U.S. House canceled its scheduled votes. This would have been the first debate between the two candidates.
Bar Association executive director Tracy DeMarea told the Star she was “disappointed that Sharice Davids can now not attend our Bar luncheon today, as we have some 280 (to) 300 members attending and it would have been a great opportunity for our local attorneys and judges to hear from our two congressional candidates.”
Said Yoder’s campaign manager C.J. Grover, “Yoder has agreed to participate in six debates. So far, Davids has skipped the Kansas City Kansas Chamber Congressional Forum, breaking a 50-year tradition, and has refused to participate in the other four Yoder has agreed to.”
As the Sentinel reported on Tuesday, famously “moderate” Johnson County pundit Steve Rose suggested why Davids might not want to debate Yoder. Rose noted that she was aware she “flubbed” earlier this summer in advocating the abolition of ICE.
“That slip-up is probably one reason why she insisted before our meeting that we keep much of our conversation off the record unless we agreed otherwise,” said Rose. “After all, Davids is a political novice, and her positions on many key issues are still gestating.”
The challenger’s positions on “key issues” must still be gestating. This time Davids conspicuously ducked a debate with Kevin Yoder and could not even blame a scheduling conflict.