Kansas: Huckabee Hearts GOP Jayhawk Candidates

Posted March 11, 2009 at 6:37pm

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee sure is spreading his endorsement around early and often in Kansas this cycle. The 2008 Republican presidential candidate announced Wednesday that he is supporting state Sen. Dick Kelsey (R) in the race for Rep. Todd Tiahrt’s (R) open seat. Earlier this cycle, Huckabee endorsed state Sen. Tim Huelskamp (R) for retiring Rep. Jerry Moran’s (R) west Kansas seat. Both Tiahrt and Moran are running for the seat being vacated by Sen. Sam Brownback (R), who will likely run for governor in 2010.Huckabee’s name carries weight in the Sunflower State, where he overwhelmingly won his party’s presidential caucuses last year with almost 67 percent. Huckabee’s support also comes early in the cycle, as many candidates — especially in Tiahrt’s district — have yet to announce their candidacies. In addition to Kelsey, Republican National Committeeman Mike Pompeo is expected to announce his candidacy in the coming weeks, and a handful of state legislators could also run when the legislative session ends in May. In addition to Huelskamp, former Brownback aide Rob Wasinger (R) and businessman Tim Barker (R) are running for Moran’s seat.