Kansas voters to decide fate of GOP congressional incumbents

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Republican congressman who was swept into office during the 2010 tea party surge faces an aggressive primary challenge in the mostly rural 1st Congressional District in a contest that makes other GOP primary races in deeply conservative Kansas look tepid by comparison.

The state’s Democrats are fielding more candidates than usual in Tuesday’s primary election as they seek to make inroads against the Republicans in the Nov. 8 general election.

Here’s a look at the races on the ballot:

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U.S. SENATE

Republican Sen. Jerry Moran faces a primary challenge from Della Jean “D.J.” Smith, a former Osawatomie City Council member who ran against Sen. Pat Roberts for the GOP nomination in 2014 and whose recent campaign filing showed no donations.

Moran said in an email that he wants to continue to fight to change the culture in Washington and push back against big government.

Patrick Wiesner, a tax attorney and certified public accountant from Lawrence, is vying with Monique Singh-Bey for the Democratic nod.

Wiesner proposes cutting “frivolous” tax breaks and simplifying the tax code. He wants to give the Internal Revenue Service the funding and tools needed to go after hundreds of billions in unpaid taxes.

Singh-Bey, of Kansas City, is running as a part of a national effort by the Universal African Peoples Organization to increase the number of black elected officials. She has asked people to vote for her to support proportionate political representation as part of a black political empowerment movement that focuses on criminal justice reform.

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1ST CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Rep. Tim Huelskamp and Great Bend obstetrician Roger Marshall are locked in a bitter contest for the Republican nomination that has swirled around who is most likely to win a spot on a House committee that helps shape federal farm policy.

No Democrats are running for the seat in November, but Alan LaPolice, an educator who previously challenged Huelskamp, said he plans to run as an independent candidate.

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2ND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Republican Rep. Lynn Jenkins and Democrat Britani Potter, a school board member from Ottawa, are each running unopposed in their respective primaries.

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3RD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder faces a primary challenge from the right from Greg Goode, a retired military officer from Louisburg.

Yoder, who was first elected to the House in 2010, wants to reduce spending and balance the budget by passing an amendment that would prohibit Congress from borrowing more money and capping discretionary spending. He supports repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.

Goode has said he would look for ways to cut taxes, including income taxes on military and Social Security benefits. He wants to defend the nation’s border with men, weapons and equipment and favors defunding Syrian refugee resettlement operations and Planned Parenthood.

Three Democrats are seeking their party’s nomination.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee supports Jay Sidie, the owner of an investment firm in Mission Woods. He promises to protect Social Security and Medicare from cuts and changes and opposes raising the retirement age. His platform includes Wall Street reform, keeping guns out of the hands of suspected terrorists and making college more affordable.

Reggie Marselus of Lenexa, who ran unsuccessfully for the nomination in 2014, said job creation should be a top government priority. He opposes overhauling Social Security and Medicare and wants better access to health care.

Democrat Nathaniel W. McLaughlin, a health care administrator from Kansas City who says he’s pro-labor, said he wants everyone to have access to affordable health care.

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4TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Rep. Mike Pompeo is unopposed in the Republican primary.

Two Democrats are seeking their party’s nomination. Wichita attorney Daniel B. Giroux said he’s concerned about the area’s economy and has seen most of his 11 brothers and sisters move out of state. He supports fair trade, equal pay for women, affordable health care access and ending the influence of “dark money” in politics.

Retired Wichita court services officer Robert Leon Tillman ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination in 2010 and was the party’s nominee in 2012. He supports the Affordable Care Act and wants to legalize marijuana at the federal level.

 

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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