Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): The Third District Horse Race

Thursday, February 28, 2019

The Third District Horse Race

I have so much information sitting like a vat of soup in my gut, and I want to regurgitate it to the pages of the internet with chunky abandon. Unfortunately, I can't divulge everything I know. (For first time listeners, here's a brief list of reasons why. 1. I worked for Kobach and am loyal to him. 2. I now work for the Sentinel, which means I have to write about a lot of these people, and I'd like people to return my phone calls. 3. I'm no longer anonymous. *Shakes fist at Dems who outed me*).

The good news is, I have a few nuggets I can puke up here. Let's talk Third District, shall we? 

Congresswoman Sharice Davids (stomach heaving) has all the looks of a one termer. Traditionally, Congress people are most likely to lose their first re-election. Things typically get easier after that. And she's a blank slate who really isn't very representative of the district. Lots of politicos (and newcomers) are giving this seat an eyeball, knowing a race against Davids will be challenging but not impossible. (I really, really miss Yoder, but he gone. He's ditched politics for the big bucks. He's a K Street consultant, which is polite-speak for D.C. lobbyist now. I'm glad he found a comfortable spot to land, but I sure wish he was still representing the Third District in Congress.) 

Anyone who listens to her talk for approximately 5 minutes recognizes she's a boat without an oar. She's traveling left, listening to Nancy Pelosi without any real positions. Check out her interview with KCPT's Mike Shanin below. She doesn't answer a single question.

Local politicos believe that it's going to take a set of ovaries to defeat Davids in 2020. Word on the street is that at least two are swinging hats towards the ring. Amanda Adkins is a former chair of the Kansas GOP. She's a VP (or something important) at Cerner. Prior to that gig, she was closely tied to former Gov. Sam Brownback, which might be the kiss of political death in Kansas. Cerner executives typically throw lots of cash at their favorite candidates, and as an Important Person there, the thought is that Adkins would be flush with dollars immediately. However, I'm told today that Cerner feels burned after the last election and won't be quite as generous to candidates this cycle. So, we'll see whether that theory holds.

Meanwhile, newcomer Sara Hart Weir is said to be mulling a run. She got a rock star introduction, speaking at the Kansans for Life Valentine's Day Dinner. She's from Olathe and the President and CEO of the National Down Syndrome Society and as such, I hear she knows all the movers & shakers in Washington. (So... the swamp creatures? Time will tell.)

I've also heard rumors of ovary-impaired folks eyeballing the Third District Congressional seat. Those names include Speaker of the Kansas House Ron Ryckman, former Gov. Jeff Colyer and former insurance commissioner Ken Selzer. Ryckman isn't exactly term limited, but there's a tradition that says his speakership turns into a pumpkin at the end of this term. He's likely looking for a nice landing spot in Kansas politics. I think Colyer's name is likely being tossed around because everyone thinks he's also looking for a landing spot. I don't know how serious those rumors are. I think the Selzer rumors are also just folks talking out of school.

Long term callers know I am reluctant to pick a horse this early in the race. That said, I'd hitch my wagon to any of those horses in the general without batting an eyelash.

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