WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Kansas Governor Laura Kelly and Attorney General Derek Schmidt are locked in one of the nation’s tightest Governor races. Wednesday’s debate covered some of the most pressing issues.

KSN’s Political Analyst Dr. Jeffrey Jarman says both candidates did a really good job of getting to the core of their message. They spoke on abortion rights, the economy, agreeing on things at times and clashing on others.

Dr. Jarman says they both know what their core message is by this stage of their campaigns. Both candidates were good about staying on script, neither one had a stumble that was dramatic or one that would change the outcome of the election.

With the election so close, Wednesday’s debate didn’t necessarily change the needle on which candidate viewers are voting for at this point. Jarman says it certainly won’t change the needle as to what key issues Kansans care about. It’s more a call to each candidate’s base to get them motivated as we head into these crucial last few weeks before the election.

“One important purpose is to rally supporters and build support, but there are other important purposes of debates, and those help us assess the candidates, their character, their ability to perform the job,” said Dr. Jarman.

Dr. Jarman did have one criticism of the debate: the format of the debate itself. Each candidate only had 60 seconds to talk about their mission, how they would change Kansas for the better, and the values that mattered most to them. The responses overall had to be short and sweet.

He hopes future debates will follow the lead of recent presidential debates: six questions with 15 minutes, allowing for and encouraging more in-depth dialogue between candidates.

“One important purpose is to rally supporters and build support, but there are other important purposes of debates, and those help us assess the candidates, their character, their ability to perform the job,” said Dr. Jarman.

Be sure to stay with KSN News, your local election headquarters, for more stories as we head toward the Nov. 8 election.