Community members hear from candidates at mayoral forum

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 10:44 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The primary election is getting near!

Topeka’s primary election in the mayor’s race is next Tuesday, which is one week from tonight, we’ll know who will move up to the main election.

The African American Women’s Voter Alliance (AAWVA) held a mayoral forum at the Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church Tuesday night to help the community become informed about the candidates running for Topeka mayor.

“We hope to figure out what the candidates stand for, what they support as far as housing and economics and public safety, that’s important when we go into those booths to vote,” AAWVA’s President, Christine Smith said.

Tuesday’s forum gave the audience some time to hear from the candidates, and ask questions.

“That I’ll hit on economic development and several parts of the city, so those are the things that a mayor brings together, they are the connector, they are the facilitator, they are the drive behind what we need in this community,” Mike Padilla, candidate for Topeka mayor said.

The five candidates touched on multiple issues the community shared their concerns on: affordable housing, economic development, public safety, and policing.

“I believe in the minimal force attitude too to take that but it depends on the situation on whether its a single officer with more than one person involved, or of its multiple officers, and they can tactically do things different where it will be less risky,” John Lauer, candidate for Topeka mayor said.

“They have to have better resources for to train in that way, but also some time of counseling for themselves as well. this is a stressful job, they go under appreciated most of the time,” Leo Cangiani, candidate for Topeka mayor added.

“I will say that body cams are an essential. I think all officers because it raises the accountability to those officers and makes it more transparent, make that footage available to the community in a reasonable amount of time,” Patrick Klick, candidate for Topeka mayor said.

AAWNA’s president Christine Smith co-moderated the forum with Timothy Smith.

The candidates also had a chance to speak on what the community should look for in their next mayor.

“So what are we doing about our disabled, what are we doing about our mental health issues, is getting a handle on the gun violence and solving this problem,” Daniel Brown, candidate for Topeka mayor said.

Community members had the chance to submit their questions before Tuesday night’s mayoral forum.

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