Closely watched race for Kansas Senate heats up

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - The Democratic incumbent in one of the hottest races for the Kansas Senate is accusing her Republican challenger of ducking forums.

Sen. Laura Kelly of Topeka said Wednesday she believes GOP rival Dick Barta wants to avoid questions about supporting massive income tax cuts approved by lawmakers this year. Democrats contend the reductions were reckless and will lead to big education funding cuts.

Barta, also of Topeka, said he's surprised by Kelly's criticism because he's attended a number of forums.

Kelly is seeking a third term in the 18th Senate District in the Topeka area. Barta is a former Shawnee County sheriff.

Kelly listed six forums Barta has skipped since Sept. 9. Barta responded with a list of six he's attended, although at least one was before the Aug. 7 primary.

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