ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–Three Republicans competing for a chance to run against Democrat Claire McCaskill for her U.S. Senate seat delivered no knockout punches and agreed on several issues during a candidates forum downtown.
Congressman Todd Akin, businessman John Brunner and former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman appeared at a frictionless forum sponsored by the RCGA before a crowd of about 100 community leaders.
The trio refrained from attacking each other, and agreed on major issues — no new taxes, getting tough on Iran’s nuclear ambitions and repealing President Obama’s health care reform plan.
Asked privately how each plans to offer some distinction for voters to cling to before the August primary, Akin pointed to his record.
“Well, I’m the candidate with the proven conservative record,” Akin said, “I’ve been tested in Washington, D.C.. I’ve voted under fire, and I have the most conservative rating of any congressman in the state of Missouri.”
Steelman says she hopes voters see in her someone who won’t go along with the crowd, but vote to represent their interests.
“I want people to know that I’m a fighter,” Steelman said, “And I’m going to go to Washington to put their interests first. And all they have to do is look at my record to know that I’ve always stood up for the best interest of the people of the state despite the political consequences.”
Brunner, whose company invented Germ-X hand sanitizer, says both Akin and Steelman are “career politicians,” and he’s proud to have never been tainted by public office.
“I’ve had zero experience in terms of being in public office,” Brunner said, “But I’ve had 33 years experience in industry, in business and commerce, and four years of active duty experience in the Marine Corps. I hope to bring my leadership skills from the Marine Corps.”
Getting on the elevator to leave after the debate, some members of the audience were asked who they think won the debate. They shrugged and looked up at the floor marker lights.