A firebrand conservative from the Kansas Senate has made a late entry into a crowded field for Kansas’ 2nd District congressional seat.
Sen. Dennis Pyle, R-Hiawatha, announced Wednesday that he is the latest Republican to enter a growing field to replace U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, who is leaving Congress at the end of her current term.
"There is a lot of talk about the number of candidates in the primary, but one thing is certain — no matter how crowded the field, there is always room for a genuine, proven conservative who represents rural Kansas values,” Pyle, 57, said in a statement.
Pyle challenged Jenkins in the 2010 Republican primary, earning close to 43 percent of the vote. Republicans in the 2018 field have struggled to raise money.
Pyle, who has been in the state Senate since 2005, has vehemently opposed tax increases.
Democrat Paul Davis, who has by far posted the strongest fundraising numbers in the race, has sparked Republican fear that the seat could turn blue in the fall election. Jenkins has held the seat since 2009.
Former Kansas House Speaker Doug Mays announced a run for the seat last week.
A handful of candidates outside of the Kansas Legislature, including Steve Watkins, an Army veteran and Tyler Tannahill, a Marine veteran, are also running for the Republican nomination.