This is my reaction to the report that Kent Roth, of Ellinwood formed an Exploratory Committee to test the waters for a race against incumbent Congressman Tim Huelskamp in the 2014 Republican Primary Election for Congress in the First District of Kansas. Roth claims a scientific survey of 400 registered Republican voters in the First District who did vote in the past two primary elections concluded “anyone considering a race against Tim Huelskamp should be encouraged by the results”* as only 28% stated they were likely to vote for Hueslkamp if they felt a different Republican candidate was qualified. However, the survey questions reminded voters that Tim Huelskamp had been removed from the House Agriculture Committee for being uncooperative with the Speaker of the House. The Report on this Public Opinion Survey paid for by the challenger was made public last Thursday at Facebook.com/kentrothesquire.
The process of running for federal office often involves conflicting polls; however, of greater interest is the contrasting style of the two politicians.
Roth’s post states the plan was to post on Facebook and issue a press release Thursday, however, there was breaking news. After the post on Facebook, while Roth was driving to the GOP event in Dodge City the breaking news of “the death of a world leader, a champion for nonviolent change, on the level of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King passed away.”** The post announced the press release would be delayed until Monday to show respect for the passing of Nelson Mandela.
Huelskamp had previously scheduled an event outside his District, to take place the next day, Friday at George Tiller’s former abortion clinic. Huelskamp arrived walking past a couple dozen supporters of the South Wind Women’s Center. The Congressman joined a larger group of Catholic High School students about 40 from outside the district plus more from Wichita for about 100 who opposed abortion. Responding to criticism that he should be doing business in Washington, D.C., Huelskamp said, “I can’t think of a better place to be....”.***
I beg to differ; Wichita has deep wounds from the protests that began outside this same clinic building leading to the murder of Dr. George Tiller, in his own church, in 2009 by Scott Roeder. There were better places for Huelskamp to be on Friday. He should have stayed in Washington D.C. where efforts are under way to avoid a second government shutdown. He could have postponed his news making out of respect for the passing of Nelson Mandela as did his potential opponent. Better yet, he might have attended to some business in his own Congressional District. Yes Congressman Hueslkamp; you may question the survey’s validity, but on the style comparison you come up short.
Debi Streiff Pippit