In Kansas’ 2nd Congressional District race there is no Democrat primary since only Paul Davis is running for that office. The Republican race is a rather unique situation that deserves a brief discussion.
In the district that is comprised of the majority of Eastern Kansas (except for the Kansas portion of the Kansas City Metro), the candidacy of Steve Watkins has caused many of the district’s grass roots Republican leaders to organize an “anybody but Watkins” effort in order to keep him from winning the nomination. With six other candidates, it is likely the vote will be split allowing Watkins to win. Leaders in the 2nd District suggest that you do NOT vote for Watkins. Given current polling, suggested candidates are Caryn Tyson and Steve Fitzgerald. Kansans for life has endorsed Fitzgerald, Tyson and Dennis Pyle in the race.
Others can only water down the vote and increase the likelihood that Watkins will win the primary.
But why the almost universal push-back against Watkins? His political commercials portray him as a 2nd Amendment, pro-life, traditional values Republican. Could it all be a ruse? Apparently, yes.
The main issue is that Watkins first met with state Democrat party officials seeking their support. That would be a consistent with the rest of his family since his wife is pro-abortion and has actually received an award from Planned Parenthood. In addition, according to the Democrats, his father has donated regularly to Democrat candidates in the past. Again, as reported in the state’s major daily newspapers, Watkins went to meet with local Democrats but was rebuffed in spite of his claims that he was one of them. Watkins admits meeting with them but denies being in agreement with them.
Watkins then decided to run as a conservative, Trump-supporting Republican. He loaned himself over $400,000.00 for the campaign and receives support from a PAC run by his father with almost $500,000.00 in it.
No sooner did Watkins jump into the race when the story about his wife and her connections to Planned Parenthood broke, followed shortly by news of the meeting with local Democrats. That was the tip of the iceberg. Watkins’ claims of supporting President Trump soon fell apart when it was discovered that he had only voted once in his 41 year-old history and that was for in a Topeka city council race in order to establish residency to run for Congress.
Next came a meeting in Burlington where Watkins proudly announced that he was a “pro-choice Christian.” Soon, multiple participants who had witnessed the comment posted on Twitter. Once again, Watkins initially denied that he had ever made the comment, but then a video showed up and he back-tracked and made the new claim that the comment was an “accident.”
That was followed by an article in the Topeka Capitol-Journal in which all of the candidates for the position denounced him for his “disgraceful” voting record. That was quickly followed by the letter published in the Lawrence Journal-World and the Capitol-Journal signed by some 40 2nd District grassroots Republican leaders denouncing his candidacy.
Next, Watkins father’s PAC gained notoriety when it falsely claimed that Watkins Jr’s opponent Caryn Tyson had voted for legislation that she had not voted for. She filed a cease and desist letter against the PAC.
In essence, Republican leaders and many Republicans voters in the district believe him to be a candidate with a history of deceitfulness and questionable political ties combined with an irresponsible voting record (not to mention that he’s essentially a carpetbagger).
Our advice, narrow your selection to either Tyson or Fitzgerald (who seem to have the highest levels of support) in an effort to derail the attempts to buy this race for an unqualified candidate.
–By John Altevogt, Metrovoicenews.com contributor