Republican candidates for the hotly contested state senate seat, incumbent Sen. Sylvia Allen and challenger Bill Konopnicki, will face off at Thursday’s Citizens Awareness Committee meeting.
Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce Manager John Stanton will guest moderate the debate, which begins at 2 p.m. at the Payson Public Library.
Candidates will answer wide-ranging questions including their views on the controversial immigration bill, how they will work to balance the state budget, and whether they will support Gila Community College’s bid to become an independent district.
Other questions ask candidates how to change the state’s Medicaid program since federal stimulus money is set to expire in December and the state budget can’t absorb the program’s increasing numbers. Candidates will also address gun control and Arizona’s new law allowing concealed weapons without a permit and without training.
Term limits prevented Konopnicki (R-Safford) from running for state House again. He will challenge Allen (R-Snowflake) in the Republican primary.
The winner of August’s primary will face Payson Democrat Elaine Bohlmeyer in November’s general election.