Newcomer faces Republican backlash in Kansas 2nd House race

Opponents and critics are smearing the front-runner

August 02, 2018 - 9:28 pm

Some local Republican activists Kansas congressional district Democrats hope to flip are staging a revolt over the prospects of the GOP nominating a former Army ranger and political newcomer.

The backlash against candidate Steve Watkins has intensified as Tuesday's election approaches in the 2nd District of eastern Kansas.

Critics are upset that his father has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to get him elected through a political action committee.

One of Watkins' opponents has a website devoted to questioning his Republican credentials, and another calls him a "fraud." Forty local GOP leaders signed a letter this week expressing their concerns about him.

Watkins said career politicians and their supporters are smearing the front-runner.

Republican Rep. Lynn Jenkins is not seeking re-election and Democrats see the seat as a prime pickup opportunity.

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