Well, it took awhile, but White Recital Hall finally filled up. However, one of the sponsoring groups – Young Dems of UMKC – had only ONE representative. Pathetic!

The debate was sponsored and monitored by CCP – Committee for County Progress. The questioners were local news reporters: Joe Arce, editor/publisher of KC Hispanic News; Steve Kraske, KC Star columnist and host of Up to Date on KCUR, the public radio station; Mike Mahoney, reporter for Channel 9; and Eric Wesson, reporter for the Call. I guess they couldn’t find a female political reporter. Too bad. It would’ve added to the mix. Typical, though.

Margaret Donnelly, Jeff Harris and Chris Koster were all in attendance.

The questions were, for the most part, insightful and they didn’t let Koster off the hook on why he chose to bolt the Republican Party. Each question went to one candidate, although a couple of times a candidate tried to answer a question from the previous questioner. David Kenner, of the CCP, acted as the moderator and kept things on track.

Donnelly, as a lawyer who has been a champion of women, children and families, showed her concern for those families and children. She emphasized her work and knowledge on the budgetary issues relating to the AG office and said these two things make her the best candidate.

Harris was filled with platitudes and old-time political rhetoric: I’ll fight for you…blah blah blah…..but had little knowledge or at least didn’t show any workable knowledge of the AG office or any specific actions he would take if he won.

Koster was comfortable in talking about the AG office, what has worked and what he wants to change. He spoke of the awards he has won from the Missouri Bar as legislator of the year. He emphasized that he was the only candidate with real time in the trenches trying cases and the only one who has tried cases in front of the MO Supreme Court. (Donnelly shot back that she had also spent much time in a courtroom representing her clients.)

Donnelly seemed to be vying for the position of AG manager – with her knowledge of the budget and the departments that the AG office must deal with on a daily basis; while Koster emphasized his actual legal/trial/courtroom/legislative experience.

Harris said he will fight for us. Duh. Yawn.

Read what Michael puts out from his transcripts of the debate. As a true professional – I ran out of batteries within minutes – so my copious amount of notes are still in my bag.

The AG office, as are most state wide offices, is a very important one. I hope we all look at these candidates with a steely eye – and question experience, leadership and values before we all make a choice.