Two candidates for Kansas’ 2nd District Congressional race announced have announced fourth-quarter fundraising totaling a few hundred thousand dollars.
Republican Steve Watkins, an army veteran and Iditarod racer, said in a statement Friday he had raised more than $200,000 since joining the race in November. Paul Davis, a Democrat who ran for governor in 2014, announced another $330,000 for his campaign Thursday raised between October and the end of the year.
Davis took an early lead in fundraising during the second quarter of 2017 with more than $400,000 collected. He joined the race in August. Since launching his bid, Davis has raised more than $730,000 and 75 percent of his donors are in Kansas, according to a release from his campaign.
Congressional campaign finance reports aren’t due until the end of the month, and Davis and other candidates’ full reports showing their donors and expenditures weren’t yet available from the Federal Elections Commission.
Davis’ campaign manager, Kerry Gooch, criticized the tax cut bill Congress passed late last year and said Davis would be interested in working on the tax code if he were elected.
“Every day, Paul talks to Kansans who are worried about the Brownback-style tax bill that was recently signed into law in Washington,” Gooch said. “They remember what tax cuts for the rich did to Kansas; local schools closed early, taxes went up on working families and job growth fell far behind the nation. Kansans are chipping in what they can to elect Paul so he can go to Washington, work with members of both parties and truly fix the tax code so it works for working people.”
Watkins praised his campaign’s “grassroots effort” that he claimed had raised money faster than other candidates.
“We’ve built a foundation to be the only Republican who will keep this seat in GOP hands in 2018,” Watkins said.
Watkins’ primary opponents Caryn Tyson and Steve Fitzgerald, both Kansas state senators, each raised between $150,000 and $170,000 from June through August, including loans they made to themselves. Kevin Jones, a state representative, raised about $23,000 in the third quarter. None of the three have announced their fourth-quarter fundraising.
The 2nd District seat is currently held by Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins, a Republican, but Davis won voters in the district in his 2014 campaign for governor.
Jenkins announced last year she would retire from public service when her term ends in early 2019.