Kansas Congressman Loses GOP Primary

Source: By Chris Clayton, DTN • Posted: Monday, August 8, 2016

The incumbent GOP congressman in one of the largest agricultural districts in the country was ousted in his primary Tuesday.

Three-term Rep. Tim Huelskamp of the Kansas First Congressional District lost to fellow Republican Roger Marshall, a physician. Just after 10 p.m. Central when most state media and Marshall’s campaign declared him the victor. Shortly later, results of roughly two-thirds of the precincts in the district had Marshall ahead by roughly 11,000 votes.

The district is heavily Republican so the primary winner can basically start measuring curtains for congressional office.

People on social media suggested Huelskamp lost because he bucked the Washington establishment, but Huelskamp’s abrasive personality was often cited throughout his time in the state legislature, in Washington, and in his district.

“I think his personality is the underlying issue,” said Patrick Miller, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Kansas, told McClatchy newspapers about Huelskamp. “He has a combative, often controversial, sometimes divisive approach to politics that doesn’t sit well with some Republicans.” http://dld.bz/…

Agricultural groups joined to back Marshall over Huelskamp, at least partially because they believed Huelskamp was ineffective representing the district on agriculture and rural issues. Huelskamp had been a member of the House Agriculture Committee, but lost his committee seat because of his constant battles with House GOP leaders.

Huelskamp had asked House leaders to reinstate him to the Ag Committee before Congress recessed. It was unclear any committee members had supported Huelskamp’s request.

The Kansas First Congressional District is the #1 congressional district in the country for value of livestock sold, according to the 2012 Ag Census. The district is the third-ranked congressional district nationally for all agricultural products sold. Needless to say, it stuck in people’s craw that Huelskamp was not only kicked off the House Agricultural Committee, but also voted against the 2014 farm bill.

Marshall got backing from the Kansas Farm Bureau, the National Association of Wheat Growers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.