2nd District GOP incumbent faces stern test
The Republican Party primary for the 2nd Congressional District features the classic split in the GOP.
U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, faces a challenge on her right from state Sen. Dennis Pyle, R-Hiawatha.
“I’m preparing to be part of a conservative Republican Congress,” Pyle said.
The district encompasses much of eastern Kansas including Leavenworth County. The Republican and Democratic party winners will face off in the Nov. 2 general election, along with Libertarian Robert Garrard of Edgerton.
Pyle opposes abortion while Jenkins says she supports abortion in cases of rape, incest or if the life of the mother is at risk. Pyle has criticized Jenkins for being one of nine Republicans to vote against an amendment to stop federal funds going to Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood has said none of those federal funds go toward abortions.
Pyle has criticized Jenkins over the amount of taxpayer money she has spent on communications. And he has criticized Jenkins for votes she made when she was in the state Legislature for a tax increase.
“There’s a lot of difference between the incumbent and I,” Pyle said.
Vastly outspent by Jenkins, Pyle says he is hoping to ride the anti-government wave in the form of the tea party movement.
For her part, Jenkins says the No. 1 issue on the minds of voters is government spending and the increasing national deficit.
“Washington doesn’t have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem,” she said. She voted against President Barack Obama’s federal stimulus package and health care reform law.
Jenkins said she has conservative credentials.
“I’m pleased to be endorsed by the American Conservative Union. Holy smokes, I think that says it all. I have an “A” rating with them,” she said. “Sen. Pyle has the endorsement of Sen. Pyle.”