Watkins keeps Kansas House seat in GOP hands

Republican Steve Watkins will keep Kansas’ second congressional district red, after defeating Democrat Paul Davis and Libertarian Kelly Standley on Tuesday.

Watkins will fill the open seat left vacant after GOP congresswoman Lynn Haag Jenkins decided not to run for reelection. She had represented the district since 2009.


Polls leading up the election showed Davis with a slight edge over Watkins in the district that includes most of eastern Kansas.

Davis, the former minority leader in Kansas’ State House, ran on his years of legislative experience. The 46-year-old lawyer touted his policies on healthcare, agriculture jobs and immigration reform. 

Watkins, a 41-year-old engineering consultant, served in Afghanistan after graduating from West Point. He has no previous political experience, and promoted national security, gun rights, jobs and pro-life policies on his platform.

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The district has elected a Republican representative in every election dating back to 1994 except in 2006. President Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE won the district by more than 18 points in 2016.

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