Republican and Ellinwood Attorney Kent Roth announced Friday that he is withdrawing from the First District Congressional race. In his statement, Roth said he now endorses his challenger, Alan LaPolice of Clyde.
“The risk of splitting the opposition vote makes it imperative to present a united front as the incumbent congressman advanced to the general election in 2010 with less than 35 percent of the vote. We should not make that mistake again.”
He referred to incumbent Republican Tim Huelskamp of Fowler. A Republican primary will take place Aug. 5.
The splitting of the vote, he said, raises the possibility of a Democrat winning a seat in Congress to represent Western Kansas for the first time since J. Floyd Breeding in 1956. “Apparently Democrat Jim Sherow of Manhattan shares this view as he was featured in a May 20 news article in The Clay Center Dispatch which reported ‘Huelskamp is facing two challengers in the primary who will split the opposition vote, it’s likely he’ll get the Republican nomination despite his unpopularity.’”
Roth said his goal remains seeing Huelskamp defeated in the primary. “Alan LaPolice of Clyde, Kansas is the best person to win this election. Alan LaPolice and I appeared before a Republican Central Committee open meeting in Salina where I was so impressed with his performance.
“Over time, I have come to the conclusion I rushed to judgment in not recognizing the electability of Alan LaPolice earlier,” Roth said. He recently viewed the 2008 film in which LaPolice performed a minor role, off the clock, when working his full time job as a High School Administrator.
“Any attempt to use his past work as a movie actor in a negative campaign would be as ‘genuine’ as suggesting no one should have voted for Ronald Regan because he worked as a movie actor.
As for Huelskamp “robo-calls” calling Roth a “liberal attorney” while he attended the Pancake Race in Liberal, “everyone knows I am an Ellinwood attorney. Tim Huelskamp robo-calls are as ‘genuine’ as a $3 bill.
“Alan LaPolice and I have different views such as on Common Core,” Roth said. But, “I don’t expect my Congressman to agree with me 100 percent, but I do expect honesty, reason and logic with a goal of doing what is best for the First District of Kansas.”
LaPolice is a Gulf War Veteran who earned Roth’s respect by his return to his family farm near Clyde where he is actively engaged in farming after a successful career as a High School Administrator in California. “We need to encourage more native born Kansans to return to their hometowns as did Alan LaPolice.”