United States House Elections Primer: Kansas


Over the next month, as we prepare for the 2020 elections, Yesh Ginsburg and Steen Kirby will give a general overview of all 435 United States House of Representatives races. This is a basic overview to introduce you to the major candidates. All Partisan Lean numbers are taken from the Cook Partisan Voting Index. We will update this page as the races progress if anything noteworthy arises.

Kansas has four Congressional Districts, only one of which could be competitive in November. Republicans control three of the four seats, and they only lost the fourth in 2018. It will be interesting to see if they can win it back. Without Kris Kobach at the top of the ticket, it’s definitely possible.

Kansas’ 1st Congressional District

Incumbent: Roger Marshall (Republican, second term)

Partisan Lean: R+24

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Roger Marshall (R) 153,082 68.15
Alan LaPolice (D) 71,558 31.85

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Roger Marshall (R) 169,992 65.9
Alan LaPolice (D) 67,739 26.26
Kerry Burt (L) 19,366 7.51

Republican Candidate:

Tracey Mann (campaign website)

Mann is a very conservative and vocally pro-Trump Republican. He easily won the primary after Roger Marshall decided to run for Senate and challenge Kris Kobach. Marshall won that race, and Mann should easily carry this district in November.

Democratic Candidate:

Kali Barnett (campaign website)

Barnett is a very moderate Democrat running on building local infrastructure. It’s an interesting tactic given Kansas’ recent history and Trump’s general infrastructure stance, but ultimately will be mostly fruitless.

Kansas’ 2nd Congressional District

Incumbent: Steve Watkins (Republican, first term)

Partisan Lean: R+10

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Steve Watkins (R) 126,098 47.64
Paul Davis (D) 123,859 46.79
Kelly Standley (L) 14,731 5.57

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Lynn Jenkins (R) 181,228 60.94
Britani Potter (D) 96,840 32.56
James Bales (L) 19,333 6.5

Republican Candidate:

Jake LaTurner (campaign website)

LaTurner ousted Watkins in the primary after Watkins was arrested for voter fraud. (Watkins claimed it was a simple mistake of putting a mailing address instead of his physical address.) Either way, LaTurner is a small-government conservative running in a district that should be easy to win.

Democratic Candidate:

Michelle De La Isla (campaign website)

De La Isla is a liberal Democrat who, among other positions, is campaigning on offering a pathway to citizenship for all current undocumented immigrants in America. It’s hard to see how that plays well in a red district in Kansas.

Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District

Incumbent: Sharice Davids (Democratic, first term)

Partisan Lean: R+4

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Sharice Davids (D) 170,518 53.57
Kevin Yoder (R) 139,762 43.91
Chris Clemmons (L) 8,021 2.52

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Kevin Yoder (R) 176,022 51.3
Jay Sidie (D) 139,300 40.6
Steven Hohe (L) 27,791 8.1

Republican Candidate:

Amanda Adkins (campaign website)

Adkins is a former chair of the Kansas GOP. She is a small government conservative looking to win back this seat that the Republicans lost in 2018. Republican candidates across the board underperformed two years ago due to Kris Kobach being the nominee for Governor. Without such a drain on Republican votes this time, this race could very much be back in play.

Democratic Candidate:

Sharice Davids (campaign website)

Davids, a Native American, is a liberal Democrat. Even though she represents a red district, she very rarely crosses the aisle and votes with Republicans, which could hurt her reelection chances.

Yesh’s notes: As far as I could find, Davids is the only Congressperson in history to be a professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter, with a 1-1 record in official matches.

Libertarian Candidate

Steve Hohe (campaign website)

The Libertarians have someone running in three House races in Kansas, but Hohe is the only one that seems to be actively campaigning. He has had success in the past, pulling in over 8% of the vote four years ago. Hohe is also one of the more interesting Libertarians in the country, bucking the party line with his policies on term limits and campaign finance. I would expect his vote share to drop since this race will be far more competitive than 2016, but he’s at least worth mentioning here.

Kansas’ 4th Congressional District

Incumbent: Ron Estes (Republican, second term)

Partisan Lean: R+15

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Ron Estes (R) 143,459 59.34
James Thompson (D) 98,304 40.66

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Mike Pompeo (R) 166,998 60.67
Daniel Giroux (D) 81,495 29.61
Miranda Allen (I) 19,021 6.91
Gorden Bakken (L) 7,737 2.81

Republican Candidate:

Ron Estes (campaign website)

Estes won the Special Election to take over this seat after Pompeo was picked for the CIA Director spot. Estes is a conservative who runs on an anti-Obama platform, as well as cleaning up lobbying in Congress.

Democratic Candidate:

Laura Lombard (campaign website)

Lombard is running on an anti-Trump campaign, as well as advocating for a mixture of liberal and moderate policies, from universal healthcare to relatively moderate positions on small businesses and taxes.


Republicans control three of these seats, and those shouldn’t change. Whether they can win back the fourth, though, will be interesting to watch in November.

Interested in the rest of our primers for other House races? We have them all listed on our primer home page.


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