The LEavenworth Times:
Watkins among crowded field
May 18th, 2018
A Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives says he wants to restore civility and integrity to Congress.
Steve Watkins, 41, Topeka, visited Leavenworth last week to speak at a Leavenworth County Republican Party town hall meeting. He stopped by the Leavenworth Times for an interview.
“The campaign is going well,” he said.
Watkins, an engineer and Army veteran, is running for Kansas’ 2nd Congressional District seat.
The 2nd District represents much of eastern Kansas including all of Leavenworth County.
The 2nd District currently is represented by U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, who has announced that she will not be seeking re-election.
Watkins acknowledges he is running in a crowded field for the Republican nomination. Several other Republicans have filed as candidates including two residents of Leavenworth County.
Watkins believes voters will appreciate the values and civility he brings to the race. He also thinks voters will be impressed with him as a political outsider.
“It’s not a year for a controversial candidate,” he said.
Watkins graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. He also holds master’s degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard. He also has participated in the Iditarod dog sled race in Alaska.
“I have a servant’s heart,” he said.
The field of Republican candidates includes state Sen. Steve Fitzgerald, who is from Leavenworth, and Vernon Fields, who serves on the Basehor City Council.
Another Leavenworth resident, Tyler Tannahill, announced that he is a running as a Republican. But he has not filed as a candidate, according to a list of candidates from the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office.
In February, Fitzgerald called for other Republicans to drop out of the race.
“I think every citizen has the right to run,” Watkins said.
On the Democratic side, former state Rep. Paul Davis, has announced he is running. He also has not yet officially filed, according to the list from the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office.
The filing deadline is June 1.
The primary will take place Aug. 7. The general election is Nov. 6.