NOT READY NEEDS SOME FOCUS State House Democrat Tackles Odds in Kansas Race

Posted July 17, 2009 at 4:30pm
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Raj Goyle

Kansas Democrat Raj Goyle , a state representative, has taken on a tough task as a U.S. House candidate in the state’s open 4th District. Though his party once was highly competitive on this Wichita-area turf — which Democrat Dan Glickman represented from 1977 to 1995 — the conservative-leaning electorate has shifted to strongly Republican in subsequent years.  

That is evident in the easy re-election victories run up in recent campaigns by eight-term Republican Todd Tiahrt , who is competing with fellow Rep. Jerry Moran of the 1st District in the 2010 primary for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat . Tiahrt, whose 1994 win over Glickman was an upset, topped 60 percent of the vote in each of his last four House elections. He took 63 percent in 2008, a year in which Republican John McCain took 58 percent in the 4th District’s presidential vote.

But Goyle gives the Democrats something they lacked in most of their efforts to unseat Tiahrt: an experienced candidate with a track record of winning. And he appeared undaunted by the long odds against him as he launched his campaign in mid-July.  

“I am running because too many Kansas families and businesses are struggling right now. We need strong, independent leadership to tackle these challenges,” Goyle said in a statement. “I was raised to believe in Kansas values of hard work, common sense, optimism and community. I am determined to bring those principles to Washington on behalf of the people of the 4th District.”