Monday’s mad scramble among Republicans to go public with their interest in the 4th Congressional District seat suggests the decision by Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard, to give up the job to run for the U.S. Senate next year may have taken some of his fellow Republicans by surprise. Tiahrt told The Eagle editorial board that he’d been developing a plan for the campaign for about a year before Saturday’s kickoff, but there apparently was no GOP succession plan in place for his seat. Those who now say they are thinking of running include Republican Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt and state Sens. Susan Wagle, Carolyn McGinn (in photo) and Dick Kelsey; state Rep. Steve Brunk; Republican National Committeeman Mike Pompeo; and Wichita Vice Mayor Sue Schlapp. That crowded field could get more so before fundraising decides who will make it to the ballot in August 2010. And, yes, it’s early — then-state Sen. Tiahrt announced that he was challenging congressman Dan Glickman less than six months before Election Day 1994.
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