Congressional briefing — BBC: Kansas election might hurt Brownback presidential bid
Here are today's headlines from the Kansas congressional delegation:
Sen. Sam Brownback (R)
(BBC) White House hopefuls begin race: Washington has hardly swept up the confetti and empty bottles left over from the celebrations and commiserations of Election Day 2006, but the race for the White House two years from now has already begun. ... So for many in each party, the question now is: If not the front-runner, then who? Several men who had been positioning themselves as conservative alternatives to Mr McCain had bad nights as 2006 results came in. ... Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas saw the Democrats make strong gains in his conservative state, casting doubt on his campaigning abilities.
Rep. Jim Ryun (R)
(AP) Ryun speaks about defeat, uncertain about his future: Republican Rep. Jim Ryun made no excuses Thursday for his defeat Election Day, focusing more on the transition from statesman to citizen. Ryun lost to Democrat Nancy Boyda in the 2nd District race by a 51-47 percent margin, ending his bid for a sixth term in Congress. Two years ago Ryun beat Boyda by 15 points, which he said could have explained what happened this year. "In one regard, we were a victim of our own success," Ryun said in a telephone interview, one of his first since Tuesday's loss. "Everyone thought it was going to be an easy race. I certainly didn't."
Rep.-elect Nancy Boyda (D)
(Topeka Capital-Journal) Giddy Boyda starting off fast: Following the biggest night of her political life, Nancy Boyda made it to bed by 2 a.m. "The phone started ringing at 7 o'clock," said the Topeka Democrat, who pulled off an improbable upset against Rep. Jim Ryun, R-Kan., on Tuesday. It has been that kind of a nonstop run for Boyda, who pounded out a grass-roots campaign to unseat the former track star. By midday Wednesday, Boyda was talking in an interview with The Topeka Capital-Journal about where she plans to set up constituent services offices and about her first legislative priorities. On the latter, she has plenty in mind -- finding policy solutions for the health care and energy problems that the nation faces.
(Wichita Eagle commentary) When gerrymandering goes bad: Nancy Boyda's upset of Rep. Jim Ryun, R-Topeka, may in part be an unintended consequence of GOP state legislators' contentious 2002 redistricting map. That was the hurried plan that nearly forced the postponement of the August primary, when then-Attorney General Carla Stovall challenged its separation of Junction City and Ft. Riley. But by also moving part of liberal Lawrence from the 3rd Congressional District to the 2nd, Republicans intended to make Rep. Dennis Moore, D-Lenexa, beatable. Now, he's still in office. And as of Tuesday, as KC Buzz Blog noted, "we've now got two blue districts where we once had just one." Oops.