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Archive for Tuesday, November 21, 1995

MEYERS RETIRE?

November 21, 1995

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Several area political observers predict U.S. Rep. Jan Meyers, R-Kan., will not run for re-election.

Now that Sen. Nancy Kassebaum has announced her retirement plans, the next big political question in the area is whether Rep. Jan Meyers will also bow out of politics.

Mrs. Meyers, 66, who represents Kansas' 3rd Congressional District, which includes much of Douglas County and the city of Lawrence, has scheduled a news conference for next Tuesday in Overland Park to announce her future political intentions.

Several area political observers predict Mrs. Meyers will leave politics after serving six two-year terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.

"I think the odds are three out of four that she will retire also," said Russell Getter, a Kansas University associate professor of political science and government.

"I had heard from a variety of people that she appears to be tired and bordering on incoherent on some occasions," Getter said.

Getter said he doubted that Kassebaum's decision to leave would spur Mrs. Meyers to remain in Congress to help Kansas retain some of its seniority clout. Mrs. Meyers chairs the House Small Business Committee.

"It's my impression that (U.S. Rep.) Sam Brownback is more effective as a freshmen than Jan Meyers is as a veteran member of Congress," Getter said.

Mrs. Meyers will probably decide she doesn't want to face a primary contest against Kansas House Majority Leader Vince Snowbarger, R-Olathe, Getter said.

Kenneth Collier, a KU assistant professor of political science, said "all the clues I've heard point to Meyers not running."

The timing of her announcement -- while Congress is still in session -- indicates she's getting out, because she likes to keep election politics separate from congressional politics, Collier said.

Collier predicted Republicans besides Snowbarger will get in the 3rd District race, including some from the business community, he said.

Carl Trautman, a Baker University professor of political science, said whether Mrs. Meyers "stays in or doesn't stay in, I see a struggle in the primary there. That will help the Democrat out in the district."

Republicans who also have been mentioned as possible candidates include Overland Park Mayor Ed Eilert, Rep. Phill Kline, R-Shawnee, state Sen. Mark Parkinson, R-Olathe; Kansas Republican Party Chairman David Miller, Eudora; and Fred Logan, a former GOP state chairman.

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