Lawrence resident Scott Morgan, chief counsel for Gov. Mike Hayden, announced today that he is forming an exploratory committee to look into the possibility of running for U.S. Congress from the 2nd District.
Morgan, 32, said that by forming the committee he is "testing the waters" for a race against incumbent Democrat Jim Slattery. Morgan said that before he makes the decision to file, he wants to make sure he can raise enough money to make the race.
Morgan said he realizes that a race against Slattery, who has held the 2nd District seat for eight years, would be difficult.
"Everybody brings up the figure that 98 percent of incumbents are re-elected," he said. "But to say an incumbent is unbeatable is wrong."
By forming the exploratory committee, Morgan said, he is showing that the Republicans have found a serious candidate to run against Slattery.
"I'M NOT just cannon fodder for the guy," Morgan said.
Morgan spent 5 years in Washington before returning to Kansas last year. He worked as staff counsel for Sen. Bob Dole from 1983 to 1986, then served as chief counsel and treasurer for Dole's presidential campaign in 1987 and 1988. He also represented the U.S. Senate on the Federal Election Commission while in Washington, and served as staff attorney for the U.S. Customs Service.
Morgan also worked for Sen. Nancy Kassebaum as a legislative assistant before attending law school at Kansas University.
Morgan is married to Kathleen O'Leary Morgan, and they have a daughter Kelly.
MORGAN SAID a major reason behind his decision to look seriously at running for Congress is a building anger about how things are being done in Washington, D.C.
"The deficit is so fundamentally wrong," he said. "Half a person's income tax is going to pay the debt.
"It's always `In three years we're going to do something about it,'" he added. "Anger at what is being done to my daughter's generation is what pushed me."
Morgan also said Slattery's long look at making a race for governor was "embarrassing" for Kansans.
"It is kind of embarrassing to see he thinks the 2nd District is a consolation prize," he said.