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3 of 5 GOP U.S. Senate Candidates Attend Forum Taping Friday

SIOUX FALLS (NPN) — In a moderator-less format, three of the five Republican candidates for U.S. Senate discussed a number of issues facing the state and nation days before the June 3 primary.

Todd Epp/NPN

In a unique format that did not include a moderator, Dr. Annette Bosworth, Maj. Jason Ravnsborg and Rep. Stace Nelson each selected a topic that they and their opponents would discuss in a round-robin fashion. Bosworth selected Obamacare, Ravnsborg the deficit and Nelson EB-5 visas and “crony capitalism.” They also addressed other issues such as immigration reform.

Bosworth said the other two GOP Senate candidates — former governor Mike Rounds and state Sen. Larry Rhoden — were asked several times to appear but declined. Bosworth has purchased the airtime for the forum to air on KCPO-TV.

Both Nelson and Ravnsborg were critical of Rounds, the front-runner, and the EB-5 visa scandal and failure of the Northern Beef Plant in Aberdeen that EB-5 investments help build.

Nelson disputed Rounds’ claims about the effectiveness of the EB-5 program after the NBP closure and a failed dairy venture in Veblen.

“For Rounds to call it a great success is offensive,” Nelson said.

Ravnsborg was also critical of the program.

“I’m a bankruptcy attorney and I’ve never seen a client who’s gone through bankruptcy court and called it a success,” Ravnsborg said.

Bosworth, a physician, compared Obamacare to the current scandal on patient wait times at some Veterans Affairs hospitals.

“I have a serious warning for you America,” Bosworth said. “What has happened in our VA hospitals will happen to us under Obamacare. Let the story of the last week be foreshadowing.”

The forum was recorded in a basement classroom at the USD Medical School’s Wegner Library. It will air at 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Sunday on KCPO-TV. It will be uploaded in whole and in candidate segments on YouTube.

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