KS-02: Kelly (D) Drops Out

More bad news:

State Sen. Laura Kelly (D) just announced she will be withdrawing from the race to face Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.). She becomes the fifth formidable recruit to bow out in recent weeks.

“I have been forced to make a decision between honoring the pledge I made to the people in my Senate district and my firm conviction that the people of the 2nd congressional district deserve a truly independent voice in Congress,” Kelly said in a statement.

It’s not yet clear whether any Dem contenders of note will step up to run in Kelly’s place. The Topeka Capital-Journal notes that state Sen. Tom Holland had been considering a bid until Kelly launched her campaign; perhaps he may be interested in giving the race a second look.

RaceTracker Wiki: KS-02

45 thoughts on “KS-02: Kelly (D) Drops Out”

  1. Nice try making out some of these drop outs are a big deal – none of them were going to get close anyway let alone actually win.

  2. Tom was a great fundraiser (during his tenure as a state rep and his state senate run) and a big believer in field.  He touched nearly every door in his district.  He really worked his tail off for that seat.

    Laura Kelly didn’t really have that reputation.

    That being said Tom Holland didn’t even when a majority of the vote in the KS-St-03 and won, in part, because of a last minute mailer by Blue Stem PAC (Sebilius) accusing his opponent (Roger Pine) of supporting child molesters because he voted against a crime bill that had increased sentences for sexual predators (but was mostly about releasing some non-violent drug offenders).

  3. Gah!! Great…so now the strongest congressional candidate we have in Kansas (fundraising powerhouse state Rep. Raj Goyle) is in the toughest district, KS-04.  Okay, technically, KS-01 is the toughest, but at R+30, I’m not even counting it as a possibility.

    Btw, naysayers, KS-02 & KS-03 ARE winnable, especially because Jenkins, who was supposed to be a moderate (and got only 53% in the general, even as a moderate), has turned out to be Michelle Bachmann with a fake tan and worse political instincts. And these districts aren’t conservative enough to necessitate a Bobby Bright-style Blue Dog. Boyda was a fairly solid D vote, and Dennis Moore had a very progressive record, especially considering he repped a district that’s officially R+4 or so.

    On the bright side: if Republicans do capture all four seats, it’ll be tough for Republicans to give them additional protection with redistricting. Actually, that’s not much of a bright side, is it?

  4. I’ve been reading the blogs on the news that Laura Kelley has dropped out of the KS 2nd Congressional race. While many believe that a Democrat can’t win, I believe that a Democrat can’t win if there isn’t one running. That’s why I am entering the race. Can we win it, yes we can, but there is a lot of work to do in the months ahead. Join me, work hard, play hard, and go for the win.


  5. As a former staffer for Cong. Slattery and friend of Nancy Boyda, I know this district is difficult, but a Democrat can win this seat.  Jenkins is not that well thought of, especially by moderate Republicans who now see Jenkins as having moved way to the right on every issue.  A Deomocrat who knows how to campaign and raise some money may surprise the national prognosticators.  But, it will also depend on what happens these next few months with the health care legislation, jobs/economy and possibly the “terror” issue.  These issues may prove decisive on how Democrats in swing districts, and possible swing districts, perform.  If these issues have a positive effect, Democrats may do much better than people are giving them credit for here in January 2010.

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