KS-02: Ryun Jumps Back in the Ring

Via Hotline On Call:

Former Rep. Jim Ryun, R-Kan., confirmed this afternoon he would run again for Congress next year, and picked up early encouragement for his comeback attempt – but he still faces the possibility of a strong primary challenge. Ryun — who lost a re-election bid last November to now-Democratic Rep. Nancy Boyda — said in an interview that he had been mulling another run for the House, but wanted to wait until the state GOP’s annual Kansas Days gathering this past weekend to gauge support and reveal his intentions. “I needed time to reflect on the last election and see what kind of support I had,” Ryun said.

After holding the seat since 1996 Ryun – a onetime Olympic runner — lost the state’s 2nd District to Boyda by a 51-47 percent margin last year. Ryun said he would soon be back on the campaign trail “full time,” and described his defeat as an election anomaly in a bad political year for Republicans. “There was a surge that came through,” he said. “I was on the wrong corner ad the wrong time.” Ryun, a social and fiscal conservative, demurred on the question of possible primary opposition; state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins is mulling the race. Ryun instead trained his rhetorical fire on Boyda, whom he said does not represent the “Kansas values.” Declared Ryun: “She’s not a conservative. She’s a liberal.”

If Ryun can make it through the primary against a more moderate opponent like Jenkins, the general election will be a good test of Kansas’ rehabilitation from its time spent on the precipice of mini-Taliban extremism.