4th District Congressional Candidate James Thompson and former Congressman and Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman were the guests Saturday afternoon at the residence of Wellington City Council Member Joseph Soria and his wife. Thompson and Glickman were in Wellington for an hour chatting with guests at Soria’s residence and answering questions.
Thompson was also accompanied by members of his staff and volunteers. It had been a busy day for Thompson as he also had been at events in Winfield and Arkansas City.
Council Member Soria said, “We’re trying to get businesses to come here.” He spoke of the success of many of the aircraft facilities in Wellington. But, he also mentioned how their insurance rates would go up if the hospital in Wellington were to close. Soria said any of those employees who might get injured would have to be transported to Wichita.
Soria also spoke of the recent runway expansion out at the airport.
During the hour, Thompson spoke of how he has always been treated well, where ever he has traveled in his campaign so far. Despite Sumner County being perceived as a Republican stronghold, he admitted that “there are Democrats here in Sumner County. It’s ok to be proud to be a Democrat.”
He related of how he grew up in Oklahoma City, but moved to Wichita after he got out of the military. For the past twenty-four years, he has lived there and mentioned it “was a good place to raise a family.”
He spoke to the group about a close call his campaign had had the previous weekend in Rose Hill at a parade there. His truck, with a float attached to the back of it, got stuck on the railroad tracks when the vehicle in front of them stopped.
He said he was further back in the parade route, shaking hands with people when he saw a train coming down the tracks.
In their struggle to get out of the way, one of the flags on the float got stuck on the crossing guard. When it finally broke free, a Rose Hill police officer was struck in the face, receiving a facial injury. Thompson said he heard she will be ok. Still, he said that close call could have ended up far worse. “It could have hurt or killed a lot of people if that train would have collided.”
Thompson also spoke highly of his group of volunteers who have worked tirelessly to help him in his travels around the state.
He spoke briefly of his opponent, incumbent Congressman Ron Estes, referring to him as a “real piece of work,” in response to Estes claiming Thompson was guilty of beating and hitting women in the past. It is a charge that Thompson has repeatedly denied.
Thompson also said he would be in favor of finding reasonable ways to fix issues with the current tax code. “We need to look again at the tax reform that just went through. We need to give more relief to those who make less.” He also went on to declare he is not a believer in trickle down economics.
Former Congressman Glickman has been an enthusiastic supporter of Thompson, who has said recently that he wanted to do everything he could to help Thompson in his race. That meant a whirlwind day of events that day for Glickman, but he did not mind at all.
Glickman remembered how he had carried Sumner County in his congressional days, speaking highly of the people of Wellington and the county.
He and Thompson regretted the decision by the governor not to expand Medicaid. That choice, they said, has led to the closings of several rural hospitals, such as ones in Independence. “Hospitals bear the burden, and it’s not sustainable,” he said.
At the end of that hour, Thompson and Glickman left Wellington for an event in Kingman.