Skip to comments.GOP hopes to reclaim (Kansas) 2nd Congressional District seat
Posted on 02/02/2007 5:40:02 PM PST by Clintonfatigued
U.S. Rep. Nancy Boyda, a Democrat, has been in office less than one month, but potential Republican opponents in 2008 are starting to angle for a shot at making her a one-term congresswoman.
GOP festivities last weekend for Kansas Day propelled the names of two possible challengers: Jim Ryun, the five-term congressman that Boyda upset in November, and State Treasurer Lynn Jenkins, who just won a second four-year term.
The 2nd Congressional District includes west Lawrence, Topeka, Manhattan and much of southeast Kansas.
Kris Kobach, new chairman of the Kansas Republican Party, said Boyda was one of the most vulnerable freshmen Democrats in the nation.
Republican leaders in the 2nd District are very confident that that congressional seat can be taken back, Kobach said.
In November, Boyda defeated Ryun 51 percent to 47 percent.
That is an extremely narrow margin in a year that Democrats did exceptionally well. Ms. Boyda is not going to have much of a margin to play with, Kobach said.
Ryun, of Lawrence, could not be reached for comment. He made some statements during the GOPs annual Kansas Day weekend that suggest he may run again.
Also in recent days, Ryun has issued a written opinion piece critical of the new Democratic majority in Congress and criticized the media for coverage he received during the campaign.
Jennalea Linn, a spokeswoman for Jenkins, of Topeka, said Jenkins was not shutting the door, but right now is focused on being state treasurer.
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Jim Ryun blew it last year. He has no business running again.
That's quite possible. But if so, a strongly supported, high-quality primary challenger would be the answer. The fact that former Congressman Ryun wants to run again (also, Jeb Bradley, who lost his seat in NH), is at least an encouraging sign that what the pros call "quality candidates" (people with high name recognition and experience) on our side may be willing to run in '08. Even if Ryun isn't that good, he's a better-quality candidate than most unknowns or barely-knowns would be.
Better to have that state treasurer run.
I think that's generally right.
I also agree. If Lynn Jenkins runs, the seat is won. I think that even Democrats realize that.
How Conservative is Jenkins ? Despite Ryun's unfortunate problem with the real estate deal, his Conservative credentials were impeccable.
Unfortunately, Lynn Jenkins is supporterted by WISH List, which speaks volumes about her politics. But having her in Congress still brings the GOP closer to a majority. Nancy didn't so much win the election as Jim Ryun lost it.
In Maine Congressman Tom Allen may run against Sen. Collins. Already there's a democrat rushing to save Allen's seat if he does. Havent heard of any republican who may try to get Allen's seat.
Ugh, then that definitely rules out my supporting her. A pro-abort RINO in a Conservative district is a no-go. Put me down in Ryun's camp.
There is talk that former state House Speaker Doug Mays, who is pro-life but palatable to the RINO's, may also run.
Maybe we could persuade ex-Congressman Jim Longley, Jr. to run for it.
Perhaps Darlene Curley will try again. She did poorly last time, but that was 2006 against an incumbent Rodent.
Did she establish any name recognition last year?
Hmm. Though if Mays and Ryun run at the same time and split the Conservative vote, Jenkins will get the nomination. I'd have to think that would be a recipe for Conservatives to stay home and hand Boyda a 2nd term (much like with what happened when now-felon Adam Taff got the nod in Moore's district).
Portland has had a GOP Mayor twice (though that was via election to the City Council rather than by direct vote) in the past 20 years, named Cheryl Leeman. Maybe she could be a possibility ?
Conservatives wouldn't stay home in a Presidential election, barring extraordinary circumstances.
Hmm, you're right, but they could ignore a particular office with an odious candidate.
I can't get past the fact that Ryun lost a district that went overwhelmingly Republican in the past three Presidential elections, against a little-known candidate who had never won elective office before.
I wish that state Senator Jim Barnet would run (he's from the southwestern part of the district), but there is no evidence that he's interested.
Well, Boyda's was a rematch in a bad GOP year in a district that has been not entirely hostile to Dem Congressional candidates going back for 36 years. Prior to Ryun, Sam Brownback represented the district for a single term. From 1983-1995, the district sent a 'Rat, Jim Slattery, and also from 1971-1979 sent Dr. Bill Roy, the abortionist who nearly beat Bob Dole in '74, and Martha Keys succeeded him (we would've held the seat past 1983, but the Republican who beat Keys in 1978, Jim Jeffries, was regarded as a bit of a flake). This district was also where the establishment GOP refused to support a Conservative lady named Joan Finney, who would've easily dispatched Roy in 1972, and of course, we know what happened with her.
We can't let a good conservative district be represented by RINO. That's just a waste. Especially because RINOs in the House can easily become RINOs in the Senate. We need to run a little more of a risk and try to nominate a real Republican. If Jenkins wins, fine, but we shouldn't hand it to her by not opposing her.
Ryun is damaged goods. He's had some ethical questions with the purchase of his Washington townhouse. He got caught lying during the 2006 campaign when he denied knowing Mark Foley very well and said he didn't know that Foley had lived across the street from him for years and then if came out that he and Foley had hosted block parties together. Finally he got so comfortable in office that he pretty much ignored the district for most of his last term or two. If we are going to retake Congress we will not do it with the same old tired faces that lost Congress in the first place. It would be far better if a new conservative candidate ran in 2008.
Barnett may be a good choice. But there's a criminal investigation going on right now into his 2006 gubernatorial campaign and we'll have to see what happens there.
Which is why Kobach has to pull his head out of his butt, drop Ryun, find a solid Republican candidate in the district, and avoid a primary fight. Boyda will never be more vulnerable than she will be in her first reelection campaign.
I disagree. Ryun was a good man who got caught flat footed. NOBODY, even the most pessimistic pundits, thought he was in trouble, and nobody thought Sebellius would win as big as she did.
He'll trounce him next time around.
Here is an idea. If damaged goods Jim Ryun and RINO Lynn Jenkins are the only Republicans who run, support Jenkins just once, and dispatch her in the 2010 primary.
And to those who say that Jenkins would become entrenched, I have two words- Joe Schwarz.
"He'll trounce him next time around."
I didn't know that Nancy Boyda was a man.
Primary battles in this state tend to favor the Democrats since the losing Republican faction has a habit of sitting out the general election. If Kobach wants to make a success of his time as head of the Kansas GOP he needs to get the 2nd District back. Which means he needs to make sure the party lines up behind one, electable candidate regardless of which wing they come from. And if Kobach wants to run for the Senate in 2010 he has to make a success of his time as head. The 2008 election's all he's got.
Problem is, Republican incumbents in KS don't tend to lose renomination except when seats are eliminated at reapportionment time (such as freshmen Dick Nichols in '92 & Walter McVey in '62). The last time an incumbent was defeated in a primary absent that was Thomas Winter in 1946. The last time a freshman was defeated for renomination was William Ripley Brown in 1876. Simply put, if Jenkins wins, it is highly unlikely she'll be defeated except at a general election.
The example of Joe Schwarz was a unique instance when a highly unpopular and divisive candidate took the nomination because of a lack of a runoff, and it was readily apparent in a 2-man race, he'd never have won, and with his reelection, that proved correct. From what I can tell of Jenkins, it's her social liberalism that is wrong, though she herself may be considered likeable (such as with Vince Snowbarger's predecessor, Jan Meyers, or even Nancy Kassebaum). It's why we need to stop her from winning the nomination in the first place.
Then the only option is for KS conservatives to find a conservative alternative to Ryun.
Well then, he may be a worse-quality candidate. Time for someone else to step up to the plate. It would be pathetic not to take this district back in '08.
What if it's Lynn Jenkins?
So be it. She will help us elect a Republican speaker and all that.
What we can't have is two conservative candidates if she runs. If Ryun can beat her in the primary, maybe he can win the general too. If he can't, then she's probably the better general-election candidate. Hopefully, if Jenkins runs, a popular conservative will also run and get Ryun to drop out.
All in all, it sounds like a sticky situation.
Having been rejected in the 2006 election why should we believe he can come back and win in 2007? I admit I haven't looked into it in any great detail, but I don't believe that the track record of politicians who were turned out of their office in one election then ran and were elected back to the same office in the next general election is very good.
All in all, it sounds like a sticky situation.
Indeed. They say that all politics is local, and it's no different here. We're paying the penalty for having a divided party and contested primaries are quite often the kiss of death. Roughly half the Republicans out here are people who think exactly like some of those who have posted on this very thread. The whole idea of the Republican party being a big tent is absolutely rejected by them. Unless you march in lockstep with them on abortion and creationism in schools and each and every issue they support you will get branded a liberal RINO apostate. Well, as you might imagine members of the more moderate wing of the party don't react well to being told that they aren't real Republicans. So you have the situation where if the candidate of one faction wins the primary then the supporters of the other faction either sit out the election or support the Democrat. It's cost us election after election, and could have cost more. And Kris Kobach isn't going to change it.
I know, it's a badly divided party in Kansas. I don't know enough about the Ryun situation to know how weak he is, or how strong Boyda may be. What matters most is beating her. What matters secondarily, but still importantly, is beating her with a real conservative.
I tend to agree that running a previously defeated congressman is not usually the best way to go. The best solution would perhaps be for a strong conservative (who is also a political powerhouse with high name recognition) to quickly soak up a large majority of the conservative support and money, leaving Ryun unable to run credibly in the primary.
I don't live in the second district but I know people who do. Ryun had basically ignored the district for the last couple of years. And he got caught lying about Mark Foley. He claimed in public that he barely knew the man when they lived next door to each other and hosted block parties together. So I honestly think that Ryun is toast and that a new face is needed to win the seat back.
How strong Boyda is will remain to be seen. An incumbant is always most vulnerable in their first re-election. A lot will also depend on how she does in the next two year in office. She sponsored H.R. 476 which denies pensions to congressmen or senators convicted of bribery, perjury, or conspiracy charges and it passed 431 to 0. Not a bad start for a freshman from either party.
One thing we cannot assume is that Boyda is stupid. She is not. Regardless of who we run against her, she will be a tough opponent and if the GOP is going to take the district back we can't afford a bruising primary fight. The new head of the Kansas GOP has to show some leadership.
Yes, Democrats know how to hold vulnerable seats. They are experts at this. Ryun seems to have goofed badly, and that isn't easily forgiven, considering the stakes in the '08 election especially.
No question about that. Gotta get 'em out before the incumbency protection machine kicks in.
I live in Jim Ryun's district and voted for him. I plan to support him again this time. The woman who wants to run is pro abortion (who I will not vote for as I am first and foremost Pro Life). It wouldn't surprise me if she did get the nod though as the GOP is starting to embrace Pro Choice candidates even here in Kansas.