Hartman, Schodorf denounce debate exclusion proposal by Pompeo campaign

State Sen. Jean Schodorf and fellow congressional candidate Wink Hartman are calling foul on opponent Mike Pompeo, over a letter proposing one-on-one debates between Pompeo and Hartman.

The letter, on Pompeo for Congress stationery and apparently signed by Pompeo campaign manager Rodger Woods, cites a recent KWCH poll of 4th District voters showing Pompeo and Hartman with 39 and 37 percent — with Schodorf, small-business owner Jim Anderson and engineer/rancher Paij Rutschman in single digits.

“In light of the separation between groups of candidates, both in the polls and in other areas such as fundraising and volunteers, I believe voters would be well-served by the opportunity to compare the top two candidates side by side,” the letter said.

The letter goes on to propose a series of four debates between Pompeo and Hartman only.

In a statement, Hartman’s campaign strongly rejected the proposal.

“Mike Pompeo’s plan to anoint himself as the ‘real’ candidate while excluding others is a page straight out of the Washington, D.C. playbook,” Hartman campaign manager Scott Paradise said.

Schodorf called a news conference, where she denounced the proposal as “elitist.”

“The people should decide who represents them in Washington, not good-old-boys making clandestine agreements about which candidates voters see and hear,” Schodorf said.

Woods could not immediately be reached for comment.

Tiahrt wins Olathe GOP straw poll



Olathe Republicans endured the humidity Saturday to come out and meet candidates for this fall’s elections.

In between hot dogs, candidate stump speeches and a Patrick Henry impersonator, the 800 or so Republicans who braved the heat cast ballots in a straw poll. Todd Tiahrt won big over Jerry Moran in the U.S. Senate straw poll, 315 to 112. Kris Kobach easily dispatched his more moderate opponent, Libby Ensley, 298 to 98, with 25 votes for J.R. Claeys.

And for president in 2012? Sarah Palin all the way.

Kelsey, Pompeo differ in campaign fund-raising in 4th District

The two Republicans running for the 4th District congressional seat have about the same amount of money to spend, but came by it in different ways.

Republican national committeeman Mike Pompeo has raised about $253,000 since early April, primarily in large contributions from executives and their spouses.

State Sen. Dick Kelsey, R-Goddard, is largely self-funding his campaign so far, having lent his war chest $222,500 since announcing his candidacy in February.

In their quarterly reports, Pompeo reported cash on hand of about $233,000; Kelsey has $205,000.

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McGinn rules out run for Congress

WICHITA — The list of potential contenders for Kansas’ 4th Congressional District shrank again today.

State Sen. Carolyn McGinn, R-Sedgwick, decided not to run and endorsed Mike Pompeo, president of Sentry International, an oilfield and industrial machinery company, and a Republican national committeeman.

McGinn said she plans to focus on projects on her family’s farm and on local issues.

Pompeo and State Sen. Dick Kelsey, R-Goddard, are the only Republican candidates to file for the seat thus far.

Kelsey recently drew an endorsement from former Kansas republican gubernatorial candidate Dr. Ken Canfield.

Other names that have been floated for the Republican side of the race include state Rep. Steve Brunk, R-Bel Aire; state Sen. Susan Wagle, R-Wichita; state Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt, R-Independence; and Wichita businessman and entrepreneur Wink Hartman.

Pro-life West Point grad files for Congress

mugmikepompeoRepublican National Committeeman Mike Pompeo has filed to run for the congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard.

Pompeo is the second candidate to formally enter the race for the Kansas 4th District seat. State Sen. Dick Kelsey filed last month. Both are members of the party’s conservative wing.

A West Point graduate and former Army officer, Pompeo is president of Sentry International, an oilfield and industrial machinery company. He is a founding partner of the aviation subcontracting firm Thayer Aerospace.

A self-described “pro-life Republican,” Pompeo vowed in a statement announcing his candidacy to fight the Obama Administration, which he said “is promoting central planning and a larger government at the expense of future generations.”

Pompeo’s filing in the race was not unexpected. He signaled his intentions at the Republican Kansas Day event on Jan. 31, the same day that Tiahrt announced he would give up his House seat to run against 1st District Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Hays, for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Topeka.

Pompeo and Kelsey are the first two in what is expected to be a crowded Republican primary for the rare vacant House seat.

Other names that have surfaced as potentially in play include state Rep. Steve Brunk, R-Bel Aire; former Bush Administration political aide Matt Schlapp; Schlapp’s mother, Wichita City Council member Sue Schlapp; state Sen. Susan Wagle, R-Wichita; state Sen. Carolyn McGinn, R-Sedgwick; state Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt, R-Independence and Wichita businessman and entrepreneur Wink Hartman.

On the Democratic side, state Rep. Raj Goyle of Wichita has been mentioned as a possible candidate, although he has made no announcements of his intentions.

Kelsey picks up Huckabee endorsement for his Congressional bid

State Sen. Dick Kelsey has picked up a notable endorsement from former presidential contender Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Kelsey, R-Goddard, has tossed his hat in the ring for the 4th Congressional District. The seat’s current occupant, U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard, is running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., who plans to run for governor.

Currently, Kelsey is the only official candidate for the seat.

Below is Huckabee’s endorsement message. Read More »