Democrat Paul Davis kicks off campaign for 2nd District


Prominent Democrat and former state lawmaker Paul Davis vowed to change the culture in Washington when he kicked off his campaign Tuesday for the 2nd District of eastern Kansas.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Davis told a rally in Topeka that the political system is “fundamentally broken.” Davis, a Lawrence attorney and former Kansas House minority leader, blamed “unprecedented, unchecked, obscene amounts of money” and said he would support a constitutional amendment to ban campaign donations that are routed through nonprofits to conceal their source

Davis, 45, was the Democratic nominee for governor in 2014, giving Republican Gov. Sam Brownback a tougher-than-expected re-election challenge and carrying the 2nd District by a 51-45 percent margin. The 2nd District seat will be open because Republican incumbent Lynn Jenkins does not plan to seek re-election.

According to University of Kansas political science professor Patrick Miller, the eastern Kansas district has tilted Republican in each of the last three presidential elections and each of the last two U.S. Senate elections.

He’s expected to face Neosho County resident Kelly Standley in the Democratic primary. State Sen. Steve Fitzgerald, of Leavenworth, and Basehor City Councilman Vernon Fields are seeking the GOP nomination.

During his own announcement rally in Topeka last month, Fitzgerald said he fully supports the agenda of President Donald J. Trump, including Trump’s call for tax reform and his efforts to back out of international agreements on climate change.

Davis, however, did not mention Trump by name, either in his speech or during a question-and-answer session with reporters afterward, even though many observers are viewing the 2018 midterm elections as a referendum on the president.

“There are some voters out there who are going to see that and they’re going to cast their votes based upon that. We know that historically,” Davis said. “But I hope that people will take a look at the candidates and they will look at who is best going to represent them in Congress, who is going to really change the political system, going to change the culture of Washington.”

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